Representing Meaning in Mind: When Predicate Argument Structures Meet Mental Representations

  • Rosa Volpe
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6456)


This study has as a central focus the role that pre-linguistic non- verbal information plays in the construction of meaning. More specifically this study explores the role that mental representations - triggered by exposure to “visual sentences” - play on the understanding of written sentences describing them. Ninety-four university graduate and undergraduate students participated in this experimental study characterized by wo modalities (plausible vs. implausible) and four different conditions allowing for the matching up of each visual sentence (Image) with the written sentence (Text) describing it (or not). The results, which are meant to measure (1) the length of time that each participant took to decide whether or not the written sentence described the visual one, and (2) the number of errors that occurred during this decision making process, show that the length of time was shorter when both the visual and the written sentence were plausible. More errors occurred when the written text describing the visual sentence was implausible.


Verbal and non-verbal information mental representation sentence comprehension predicate argument structure construction of meaning 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosa Volpe
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Humanities, Department of FrenchUniversity of Perpignan Via DomitiaPerpignanFrance

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