Sunday, December 9, 2012
TEST #07 PARTICULAR FORMS
THE MEANING BEYOND PARTICULAR FORMS
For a good many years, researchers in the field of reading and linguistics approached the problem of the acquisition of knowledge from printed symbols with the idea that meaning was assembled on a unit-by-unit basis in linear sequence. One began with small units, such as letters and words, and then built up to the larger units of sentences and paragraphs.
But while this view has been essentially discarded, a replacement has not yet been completely worked out. A new view does see the eye-brain interaction as not necessarily linear, but rather complex, and utilizing processes that allow the apprehension of the visual stimuli of printed text at several levels simultaneously. Meaning seems to come from an all-at-once grasp of the relation of the stimulus to the reader's previous knowledge structures, rather than from a bit-by-bit build up. We have all had the experience of glancing at a paragraph or page in order to quickly derive meaning, with no recollection whatever of individual letters, words, or sentences. Meaning goes beyond particular forms.