Alan Garnham (1993) Space: the Final Frontier? . Psycoloquy: 4(30) Reading Inference (12)
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Psycoloquy 4(30): Space: the Final Frontier?

Reply to Haberlandt on Garnham on Reading-Inference

Alan Garnham
Laboratory of Experimental Psychology
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QG, UK


The accusation that I work under the assumption that spatial models are either the most important or the only type of situation model people construct while reading a narrative text couldn't be further from the truth. What I wrote about empirical research on inferences in the spatial domain is that it makes a particular pedagogical point. It happens to be extremely easy to distinguish between a representation of the linguistic form of a text about a spatial layout and a representation of the situation it describes. Hence, both a priori arguments and empirical evidence for the use of mental models are easy to find in the spatial domain. Mental-models theory is supposed to be a theory of how ALL texts are understood. Similarities between the structure of a text and the structure of the situation it describes do not always exist. But even when there are similarities between the structure of a text and the structure in the world that it describes, there are crucial differences between mental models and representations of text structure.


constructionism, inference, mental models, minimalism, reading, text comprehension.