Language comprehension as structure building /

Saved in:
Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Gernsbacher, Morton Ann
Imprint:Hillsdale, N.J. : L. Erlbaum, 1990.
Description:xi, 285 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Format: Print Book
URL for this record:
Hidden Bibliographic Details
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Review by Choice Review

In the 1980s and 1990s it seems likely that scarcely six months will have gone by without the release of a new book on language comprehension. Most of these have been edited texts (e.g., Attention and Performance XII, ed. by M. Coltheart, London, 1987), representing many different authors' points of view with only minimal integration of the topics. Gernsbacher's book is one of those rare ones in which one author (or two) attempts to develop a coherent thesis on the topic. Gernsbacher's thesis is that language comprehension is, in many important ways, not a special skill but one that is based on general cognitive processes. The thesis is well argued and well supported by the data provided, and most undergraduate readers, especially those with some background in cognitive psychology, will find the going quite easy. If the book is to be faulted, it would be because of its overreliance on Gernsbacher's own data with the accompanying involved discussions of the methodology underlying those data. On the other hand, if this book were to be used in an undergraduate laboratory course on language, this kind of detail would be quite important for students. With books on this topic appearing frequently, any new book needs to offer something special to deserve attention. This one, though not providing such comprehensive coverage of the topic as some others (e.g., M.A. Just and P.A. Carpenter's The Psychology of Reading and Language Comprehension, 1986) comes very close to meeting that standard. -S. J. Lupker, University of Western Ontario

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review