Linguistic Sentence Cognitive Interpretation

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A Linguistic Sentence Cognitive Interpretation is a cognitive state of a linguistic agent immediately associated with the receiving of a sentence.

  • AKA: Sentence Implication.
  • Context:
  • Example(s):
    • An agent can report hearing “the hungry python ate the mouse.” after receiving “the hungry python caught the mouse”.
    • An agent can report hearing “Dennis the Menace sat on Santa’s lap and asked for an elephant.” after receiving “Dennis the Menace sat in Santa’s chair and asked for an elephant”.
    • An agent can report hearing “the flimsy shelf collapsed under the weight of the books.” after receiving “the flimsy shelf weakened under the weight of the books”.
  • Counter-Example(s):
  • See: Natural Language Sentence, Synonym Relation, Linguistic Sentence Translation.


References

1992

  • (Benoit & Hample, 1992) ⇒ William L. Benoit, and Dale Hample, eds. (1992). “Readings in Argumentation.” p.321
    • QUOTE: … the argument in the message can be expected not to correspond with the argument the audience is dealing with. In the first place, some types of sentences are systematically misunderstood; the sentence’s implication, and not its logical meaning, is received. On recall tests, people hearing “the hungry python caught the mouse” reported having heard “the hungry python ate the mouse.” “Dennis the Menace sat in Santa’s chair and asked for an elephant” was though to be “Dennis the Menace san in Santa’s lap and asked for an elephant.” And “the flimsy shelf weakened under the weight of the books” was reported as “the flimsy shelf collapsed under the weight of the books.”

      Besides sometimes being more sensitive to implications than to the sentences themselves, people also react more to their own thoughts about a message than to the message itself. In several experiments designed to test the relative importance of personally-generated beliefs as opposed to statements contained in the message, several Ohio State researchers asked respondents to list their thoughts during or after reading persuasive messages. Listed thoughts were classed as coming from the message, being modifications of the message statements, or being generated whole by the respondents. Predictions of attitude change were about three times better when based on recipient-generated thoughts than when based on those drawn from the message (modified message beliefs produced intermediate predictions). Worse (from the stance of someone trying to fill in an enthymeme), audience members listed twice as many self-generated thoughts as message ideas (the modified message beliefs were in between again). And when measures were taken a week after exposure to the message, recall of message ideas was barely related to attitude at all, while recall of one’s own reactions to the message predicted opinion fairly well.