During the last 10 years, more and more linguistic and psycholinguistic research has been devoted to the study of discourse and written texts. Much of this research deals with the markers that underline the connections and the breaks between clauses and sentences plus the use of these markers -- by adults and children -- in the production and comprehension of oral and written material. In this volume, major observations and theoretical views from both sides of the Atlantic are brought together to appeal to a wide range of linguists, psychologists, and speech therapists.
The volume presents contributions from researchers interested specifically in adult language and from others concerned with developmental aspects of language. Some contributors deal primarily with production, whereas others concentrate on comprehension. Some direct their attention to oral discourse while others focus on written texts. To preserve overall coherence, however, the contributors were given the following recommendations:
* With regard to the level of linguistic analysis, the emphasis should be on the clause level -- more particularly, on the relationships between clauses.
* Special emphasis should also be placed on linguistic markers (e.g., connectives, markers of segmentation, punctuation).
* An overview of a given field of research should be offered, and current research should be put into perspective.
* For contributors in the developmental field, attention should be paid to the fact that an account of the acquisition of some language functions throughout childhood should be included only if general principles of interclause relations that might be masked by the exclusive examination of adult evidence could be derived from it.
"All in all, the book is a welcome addition to the analysis of discourse."
—Studies in Second Language
"The timing of this book could not be better, as there is a growing amount of research interest in linguistics and psycholinguists within the area of discourse and written texts in both the US and Europe. The ideas, methods, and results of the research contained in these chapters seek to answer many questions regarding interclause relationships, both old and new, and to motivate research in new areas."
Contents: J. Costermans, M. Fayol, Introduction. Part I:Processing Interclausal Relationships: A Many-Sided Topic. M. Gernsbacher, Cohesion Cues Mapping During Comprehension. L.R. Shapiro, J.A. Hudson, Coherence and Cohesion in Children's Stories. Part II:On Connectives. J. Caron, Towards a Procedural Approach of the Meaning of Connectives. L. Noordman, W. Vonk, The Different Functions of a Conjunction in Constructing a Representation of the Discourse. E.M. Segal, J.F. Duchan, Interclausal Connectives as Indicators of Structuring in Narrative. S.R. Braunwald, The Development of Because and So: Connecting Language, Thought, and Social Understanding. A. McCabe, C. Petersen, Meaningful Mistakes: The Systematicity of Children's Connectives in Narrative Discourse and the Social Origins of This Usage About the Past. Part III:From Segmenting To Relating. M. Fayol, On Acquiring and Using Punctuation. A Study of Written French. L. Heurley, Processing Units in Written Texts: Paragraphs or Information Blocks? Y. Bestgen, J. Costermans, Temporal Markers of Narrative Structure: Studies in Production. Part IV:Beyond the Cohesion/Segmentation Dichotomy. M. Hickmann, Information Status and Grounding in Children's Narratives: A Crosslinguistic Perspective. B. Schneuwly, Textual Organizers and Text Types: Ontogenetic Aspects in Writing. D.J. Townsend, Processing Clauses and Their Relationships During Comprehension.