The Processing Unit in Reading

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The processing unit is proposed as a conceptual framework for analyzing language perception and semantic organization processes. In this work, the processing unit concept is characterized in the reading domain. Reading is viewed as processing information from written material on several levels in parallel. In order to describe the function of the processing unit, three levels are identified: the syntactic, the formal-semantic, and the factual levels, and their corresponding analysis units: the clause, the proposition, and the fact. The processing unit is characterized as a segment in the read text that includes all the information necessary for its interpretation in the context of this three-level set. The boundary of a processing unit is located at a point in the text where identification of complete analysis units at each one of the three levels is achieved. The method of identifying processing units is demonstrated by describing the processing steps in analysis of several example sentences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-184
Number of pages12
JournalTheoretical Linguistics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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