Article published in:Constraints in Discourse 3: Representing and inferring discourse structure
Edited by Anton Benz, Manfred Stede and Peter Kühnlein
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 223] 2012
► pp. 17–44
Processing narrative texts
Melting frozen time?
This chapter is concerned with the mental representation of temporal information in narrative comprehension. Psycholinguistic findings suggest that comprehenders’ representations of described event sequences capture the narrated flow of time. However, this seems to be bound to a specific condition. Only when the events are described without temporal gaps, does the representation mimic the temporal structure of the events in the described world but not when the event description contains a forward time shift. The chapter first gives an overview on recent research on this issue. Then, two novel experiments are reported that address the issue whether and how the temporal information of a time shift matters in narrative comprehension.
Published online: 17 October 2012