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Frame, Schema,

Frame, Schema,

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VI Frames, Schemas, and Plans 1. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON KNOWLEDGE 1.

1 Efficient processing of texts cannot afford to operate on a LOCAL scale. Procedures which could handle only single items or small groups of items would lack the requisite directionality and control that keep tabs on predictions and probabilities in such a diverse intersystem as communication. I noted in II.2.9, for example, that syntactic processing should treat single items as MICRO-STATES inside MACRO-STATES, so that the building of structures would have orderly priorities. In III.4.27, I argued that the SPACES in text-world models can be viewed as conceptual macro-states. However, these structures originate largely from within the text, i.e., they are BOTTOM-UP macro-states; there must also be TOP- DOWN macro-states coming from outside the text and supplying GLOBAL hypotheses about what is going on in the textual world (on top-down versus bottom-up, cf. I.6.5). In this chapter, I shall explore recent work concerning these large-scale stored organizers for knowledge. 1.2 Whether in memory storage or in actual utilization, configurations of knowledge can have at least four perspectives (III.4.II.7). First, knowledge can be viewed as an ARRAY in which elements are arranged such that access of potentially relevant elements is provided. This perspective is called a FRAME (cf. Minsky 1975; Charniak 1975c; Winograd 1975;1 *1. Some researchers seem to treat “frame” and “schema” as synonymous, but the distinction is both crucial in theory and borne out by the major sources I cite. Of course, still other ways could be found to contrast them (cf. Tannen’s blinkered survey, 1979); Scragg 1976; Petöfi 1976; Metzing *ed.+ 1979). For example, a ‘house’-frame would be a network of entries such as parts, substances, uses, etc. that houses have (cf. III.3.25). The format is one of links fanning out from a conceptual control center (III.3.8), with no single commitment to a sequence of actualization. Second, knowledge can be viewed as a PROGRESSION in which elements occur during actualization. This perspective is called a SCHEMA (cf. Bartlett 1932; Rumelhart 1975, 1977a, 1977b; Rumelhart & Ortony 1977; Spiro 1977; Kintsch 1977a; Mandler & Johnson 1977; Thorndyke 1977; Kintsch & van Dijk 1978a, 1978b; Adams & Collins 1979; Freedle & Hale 1979). For example, a ‘house’-schema could describe the order in which houses are assembled, or the sequences in which people can walk through them. The schema is thus much more committed to an ordered sequence of actualization than is the frame. 1.3 Third, knowledge can be viewed as relevant to a person’s PLAN in which elements advance the planner toward a GOAL (cf. Sussman 1973; Abelson 1975; Sacerdoti 1977; Schank & Abelson 1977; Allen & Perrault 1978; Carbonell Jr. 1978a; Coben 1978; McCalia 1978a; Wilensky 1978; Beaugrande 1979a, 1979b). For example, someone who wants a house or is told that somebody else wants one would summon up plans for building or buying a house. The ‘house -getting’-plan will look very different depending on the method selected. A plan to buy a house will also

1978b). the selection of the appropriate global pattern may be difficult (cf. In this progression. Woods 1978b: 9ff. where operations are adapted and specified to fit a current requirement (Bobrow & Winograd 1977. that plans are goal-directed schemas. a ‘restaurant’-script has instructions for the customer. One might argue that schemas are frames put in serial order. For instance.differ from a plan to burgle one—a factor affecting priorities of processing (R. the understander cannot afford to wait and gather large numbers of cues. A professional contractor doubtless has a complete. considerations of economy (III. how to select a site. Their utilization is a form of PROCEDURAL ATTACHMENT. This attachment requires more processing as the task at hand becomes more detailed and precise. the waiter. knowledge can be viewed as a SCRIPT in which elements are INSTRUCTIONS to PARTICIPANTS about what they should say or do in their respective ROLES (Schank & Abelson 1977. while plans and scripts reflect human needs to get things done in everyday interaction. to be enacted in an established pattern. consequently. modest one. a schema or plan for ‘house-building’ undergoes more development for a large. IV.9).2. 1.3.2. The frame would be useful for a descriptive text about existing houses. and the cashier (or the policeman if you don’t pay).18) lead me to suppose that much knowledge is shared by these perspectives.4. Brown. The consensus is that an understander must watch for cues and their “intersections” (Charniak) or “coincidences” (Woods). Obviously. Charniak 1978. or the pattern won’t be selected in time to be very useful. and expectations more definite at any given time of application. Collins. Schank & Abelson 1977: 58. and scripts socially stabilized plans (on the latter cf. the episodic aspect dominates over the purely conceptual-relational one more and more. Hypotheses should be formed early and applied until a major snag is . McCalla 1978a. If people were then called upon to actually build a house themselves. For example. and routinely applied ‘house -building’-script that other people do not possess. 1. III.5 These large-scale knowledge configurations supply top-down input for a wide range of communicative and interactive tasks. the ‘house’-frame could be selectively activated to produce a ‘house-building’-schema by following “part-of” and “substance-of” links and then putting the results in an order dictated by knowledge about materials and construction.). luxurious edifice than for a small.4 These four perspectives yield a gradation from general access toward operational directionality and order. detailed. & Larkin 1977. However. Cullingford 1978. and how to procure the co-operation of other people. Frames and schemas are more oriented toward the internal arrangement of knowledge.). Still.6 Depending on context and co-text. Schank & Abelson 1977: 72f. they could convert the schema into a plan via further knowledge about how to buy or obtain materials. II. the pattern becomes more selective.1). cf. 1. For example. Wilks 1975a: 47. Anderson & Pichert 1978). 1977b: 389. and the schema helps in telling or understanding a story about a particular house getting built. the availability of global patterns of knowledge cuts down on non-determinacy enough to offset idiosyncratic bottom-up input that might otherwise be confusing (cf.19. Rumelhart 1978. Fourth.

This procedure is not without drawbacks: the early hypothesis might be wrong and bias understanding such that contradictory cues would be overlooked for too long a time (cf. Kuipers 1975).determinate texts for people to read. Of course. Since the whole operation depends on a steady flow of electricity. a break in the middle of the wire would also cause problems.encountered (cf. Bruner & Potter 1964). (174c) He swiped a bottle of tequila from the stewardess’s cart. the least number of things could go wrong. A closed window would also prevent the sound from carrying. airplane) or schemas (shopping. If a text starts right out with (Charniak 1978: 187): (172) The woman waved as the man on stage sawed her in half. such as: (174a) He swiped a can of caviar from the display shelf. getting on a plane) could fit. However. as a “near miss” (Winston 1975) that may remain useful for reasoning by ANALOGY (cf. It is clear that the best situation would involve less distance. she was positioned at the window of her sixth-floor apartment. 1. They supplied some subjects with a picture showing a young man presenting a serenade with guitar accompaniment to his girlfriend. the fellow could shout.3. The understander may be able to adjust by treating the first hypothesis. even without having these domains named in the surface text. now rejected. getting married. (174b) He swiped a Bible from a pew.7 The occurrence of DETERMINATE cues is plainly more reliable than that of TYPICAL ones. church. The picture provides the background knowledge which the . III. since most buildings tend to be well insulated. 1. They found that the following sample was treated as nearly incomprehensible and was poorly recalled (1973: 392f.8 Bransford and M. An additional problem is that a string could break on the instrument. With face to face contact. but the human voice is not strong enough to carry that far. obliging the man to transmit the song via a microphone whose loudspeaker was supported outside her window by six lighterthan-air balloons. and typical in turn more reliable than ACCIDENTAL. Johnson (1973) deliberately constructed non. a ‘magician’-frame or ‘magic-trick’-schema can be confidently applied. The understander would have to wait for a continuation.): (175) If the balloons popped the sound wouldn’t be able to carry since everything would be too far away from the correct floor. Then there could be no accompaniment to the message.2 [2. too many candidate frames (supermarket.21). if the text beginning were less determinate: (173) John walked thoughtfully down the aisle. Then there would be fewer potential problems.

so that some metaphysical mode of existence can be portrayed in terms of everyday existence.3.9 Normally.2) Translation: God is on the side of General Motors.] The subjects with the picture understood the text right away and recalled more than twice as much as the others. III.10 Non-determinacy can be introduced from the side of the receiver as well.11 Frames.5). schemas. Wolf Diermann’s song about ‘China behind the wall’ ostensibly comments on conditions in the People’s Republic of China. This text describes a rare and improbable situation. Inheritance would apply for relations of classes to superclasses and metaclasses. V.definite articles presuppose.1) Napoleon’s objective was not to merely outmaneuver but to annihilate the opposing force. 1. The storage address of knowledge would depend upon . doubtless should) be taken as applying to conditions in East Germany behind its own gruesome wall. 1. even the articles become exophoric (cf. An intriguing but still open question is whether these alternative textual worlds are built up in parallel. such is the case with the allegories in the New Testament.’ They distributed posters with quotations from Carl von Clausewitz’s 1832 book On War. (177. and the results were the same. I’ve found I’m understood better when I use the military or football terminology of offensive-defensive. but it can (and. texts are not constructed with the intention to be irreducibly nondeterminate. or whether processing has to treat them sequentially (the latter view taken in Schmidt 1979). especially those produced in settings of political censorship.19). A ‘sun-frame could inherit from a ‘star’-frame. e. schemas. given Biermann’s situation. managers of a recent seminar on “Marketing Warfare” proclaimed that ‘what works best in warfare also works best in marketing. But this tactic can be applied in literary texts. a ‘bank-robbing’-plan from a ‘steal’-plan. each quote being translated into the frames.: (176. 1. One can take many texts and apply to them knowledge patterns that their producers may not have even considered. Religious texts avail themselves of non-determinacy. For example. (177. (176. plans. the managers circulated a statement of a female business executive: (178) In presenting my ideas to an all-male board. and plans of American business.2) Translation: Keep pushing till you hear from the feds [federal government agencies controlling business practices until George W.g. a ‘folktale’-schema from a ‘story’-schema. In support of their metaphoric outlook. but Bransford and Johnson (1973: 400) also prepared an unresolvably non-determinate text about the everyday activity of washing clothes.1) Moral effects are greater on the side of the conquered rather than the conqueror. and a ‘pizza-parlor-script from a ‘restaurant’-seript. however. Bush stole the White House]]. and scripts should be capable of INHERITANCE (cf.

14 So far. tiring. One reviewer was a professor of English Education and another of Linguistics. Diffuse. extent. . changing the ‘visible at night’ of the ‘star-frame to ‘visible during the day’ for the ‘sun’-frame.3. (3) if typical or determinate. etc. Adams & Collins 1979). systemic inter-relationships. The discarding does not vitiate the usefulness of the original frame for understanding the context where it did apply. (180) If I didn’t have to review this article I would have stopped reading it shortly after I began. leading to further modifications in context (cf. A statement of CANCELLATIONS (cf. instead. text processing often requires several frames.13 When the text fails to match receivers’ frames.). 1. 1. Other recourses could be: (1) check to see if the mismatching element is connected by determinate. unnecessarily. (2) if accidental. We saw in IV. e. including multiple. III. 1. VI. typical. the two reviewers reached totally opposite judgments of the readability and style of the paper. To conduct empirical studies.3.4 that a newspaper writer constructed an article so that a ‘psychoanalyst-patient’-frame worked for the opening stretch of text. The paper was rather critical of conventional linguistics and proposed to deal with the issues from a quite disparate direction. it is not settled how global knowledge organizers should be constituted. His/ her main points are buried in a writing style that surely tested my patience. I believe. we need at least some indication of the nature.12 The standard of INFORMATIVITY requires that understanding cannot involve perfect matching of input to a frame or schema. While the English professor remarked that ‘the untempered rejection of sentence grammars (context -free) as avenues of understanding reading is important (and. schemas.g. evidence in support of frames can be garnered even among scholars who are reluctant to admit the existence of such mental constructs. but had to be discarded in favor of an ‘anthropologist-chimpanzee’-frame later on. an understander can’t afford to discard a frame or schema at the slightest difficulty. the linguist decried the paper as ‘polemical about linguistics. not to the point.what patterns were more likely and efficient in use (see especially Fahlman 1977). The writing style clarifies and exemplifies relationships as simply and directly as necessary.’ The intriguing point was that due to frames. Plausibly. D. The English professor’s remarks on these headings are in (179) and the Linguist’s in (180): (179) Appropriate to this purpose.19. The subject matter is necessarily complex. Thus. or accidental linkage to its environment in the frame or schema. to be utterly frank. there must be at least minor variables or discrepancies to uphold interestingness. A striking demonstration was provided by an editorial board’s comments on a paper I submitted to a prominent journal in educational research. continue as before.4) could apply. objective. correct) and in need of restatement’. Bobrow & Norman 1975. an operation of FRAME DEFENSE may ensue: the text is rejected or simply not understood in order to preserve the validity of the frame (Beaugrande 1978b: 9f. to interact with each other. In this fashion. Lucid. check to see if the text is fictional.

2 If the text were fully and accurately understood as is. and plans in the course of this chapter. It might be desirable to find some text-independent means of studying global organizers. FRAME ATTACHMENT 2. I felt that direct reproduction from short-term sensory storage would certainly become impossible in that interval. I shall illustrate this approach in regard to frames. schemas. (181. 2. Two groups of subjects heard the text read aloud and were asked to write down as much as they could remember of it.and construction of mental patterns.3) so that the gases above them are cooler and seem darker in color. we can observe their influence upon human utilization of knowledge. The second group. 2. however. was required to wait five minutes before writing.1) Sunspots are believed to be caused by magnetic fields inside the sun.2) These fields slow down the energy flowing up from inside the sun. the result might be a configuration such as that in Figure 23. . My explorations are all oriented toward the use of texts.1 A text whose topic is not familiar should make people uncertain about finding a frame. (181. during which time no activities were imposed. but I see no way to do so with a reliable consensus. An experiment I conducted with the help of Richard Hersh at the University of Florida pursued this prediction by presenting the following brief text: (181. Although we cannot observe the patterns themselves.

Hendrix 1975.+ In addition to ‘sunspots’. (183) Sunspots are caused by magnetic fields around the sun that build up the heated particles in one area. One subject mentioned ‘blotches. We also have an instance of an underlying relation-’cause-of-being mapped onto a surface expression. only 3 out of 35 rendered intact the causal chain just stated.2. In contrast.3 *3. We tabulated our protocols to find the concepts that fared the best. Consider these protocol fragments: (182) Sunspots are believed to be caused by lines of magnetic force which radiate outward from the center of the sun.5 The causality between cooling and darkening was better recalled (18 subjects). the addition of ‘scientists’ as holders of the ‘belief’ was a fully reasonable inference for the type of material. ‘force’ (5). 1978). and three subjects relocated the fields ‘around the sun’. and ‘gases’. The rest omitted or altered the textual world in ways suggestive of attempts to subsume the material under some non-specialized framelike concept. I use the convention of simply passing the link label ‘ca’ (for cause) along to the next node. and ‘slow’ had only 6 recalls. and one even made the spots ‘black’.4 The most striking instance was the student who declared the text to be dealing with an ‘eclipse of the sun’. Clearly. The tendency to utilize ‘magnetic ficlds’ as a subsuming frame over others is very manifest in the amount of associated entries readers added to that node. One converted the ‘fields’ to ‘shields’ to make this effect more acceptable. . cued apparently by ‘sun’ plus ‘darker’. would have prior expertise about sunspots. ‘dark’ then followed with 21.The entire content is encased in a BELIEF SPACE. all first-year college students.’ one ‘patches’. with these results: ‘magnetic fields’ won out with 25 out of 35. the students had a hard time envisioning magnetism slowing down gases. On the other hand. The notion of ‘spot’ depends determinately on the attribute ‘dark’ or at least ‘darker than surrounding area’. and ‘disturbance’ (1). In fact. 2. evoked by ‘are believed’ in the text (cf. 2. (2) gases above become cooler. The explanation for sunspots is a causal chain: (1) magnetic fields slow down energy.4). this content is derived from knowledge about magnetism rather than from the presentation.3 I did not anticipate that our test subjects. The same source may have led to their statements about ‘electricity’ (1 subject). The subject who recalled only: (184) Sunspots in the sun are always dark in color. ‘radiation’ (3). following a ‘lines of force’ notion like that in (182). as indicated by their multiple linkage. (4) darkness yields spots. as verified by our test results (V1. (3) cooler places are darker. ‘gases ’and ‘cool’ with 18 each. 2. ‘the main nodes are ‘magnetic ‘fields’.I include the inference that the ‘belief is held by ‘scientists’.

3.and another whose protocol was almost the same (both on the no-delay condition!) may have understood or recalled almost none of the text.’ ‘ascends’ to a ‘peak’. In the following section on schema attachment. Experts on astronomy would doubtless have made better use of the ‘sun’-frame—a sketch is provided in Beaugrande (1979j)— and had a ‘sunspot-formation’-schema securely stored. 3. although with a fixed ordering. not as exclusively and exhaustively attached by it. I return to the ‘rocket’ sample (35) given in full in III. its nodes appear as a progression of EVENTS and STATES in a time continuum. as is graphically clear from Figure 24.7 These results only begin to suggest the intricacies of frame attachment. although. a ‘rocket’-frame could apply to some portions. and ‘extra heat at the surface of the sun’. One subject drew the concepts of ‘cool’ and ‘dark’ even closer together by eliminating the need for causality: (185) The temperature of the gases on the sun varies in color resulting in dark spots. and we should probably designate processing as dominated by the schema. they already suggest that even a straightforward. 2. since it deals with a sequence of events rather than with a description of a rocket as such. but knew of course what ‘spots’ should be. and the termination operator ‘τ’ to the’ ‘land’ event. That text is better treated by a schema than a frame. Of course. ‘hotter gases’. was not heavily used. as we shall see. Our surface text is conventional in that it follows the underlying time order consistently.2 A schema can also be represented as a NETWORK. SCHEMA ATTACHMENT 3. short (37-word) text is processed via general knowledge patterns akin to the “advance organizers” envisioned by David Ausubel (1960).1 To explore schema attachment. and the recall of the ‘spots’ as ‘circles’ evidently by conflation with the form of the sun. the surface signaling of the various events and states is uneven. The minimal components of ‘flight’ would be an object in the class of’ ‘flying objects’ (or a subclass of it) that ‘takes off.4. However.3 The ‘flight-schema is regular and balanced. where an ‘attribute’ was inferred. 3. This frame may have been used by the subjects who mentioned ‘molten gases’. then ‘descends’ .20. perhaps because it doesn’t provide much help for this particular text world.6 The candidate frame of ‘sun’ however. I suggest that global knowledge patterns have their own priorities regarding what materials are important and they should get organised. The internal patterning of ‘location’ state exited via a ‘motion’ event that leads to entry into a new ‘location’ state runs recursively throughout. 2. The initiation operator ‘ί’ applies to the initial ‘take-off’ event.

Fahlman 1977: 94): rockets of this primitive type did not usually have pilots and landing gear.5 If this schema were applied as top-down input to the reading of the ‘rocket’ text. Our ‘rocket’ belongs to a further subclass of ‘aircraft’.4 The superclass of ‘flying objects’ could have various subclasses. These cancel links are shown in Figure 24. It follows that if people nonetheless recall them. the evidence for the schema as a mental pattern is fairly strongly proven (more evidence cited in VIII. ‘service personnel’. and its specification could CANCEL (III. 3. . and text-world entries confirming each node would be hooked on. for example. yielding a configuration such as we see in Figure 25. The actual text do es not make all these events and. states explicit.3. ‘cannonballs’.19) some expectations about ‘aireraft’ that would otherwise be INHERITED (cf. and so on. its nodes would be inserted as CONTROL CENTERS into the text-world model. ‘birds’. 3. and ‘lands’ finally ‘on the ground’.2.2). ‘bats’. such as ‘aircraft’.‘near the ground’.

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people should recall materials connected to schema nodes the best. The cues that the rocket begins down ‘on the ground’ are reliable: ‘stood’ indicates a stationary location that is at once asserted to be a known geographical region in the southwestern United States. At the moment of being ‘empty’.g.8 To investigate the role of the schema in comprehension and recall. The mapping of text boundaries onto schema boundaries is a sufficient strategy for signaling beginnings and endings of texts. the proposition ‘everything was ready’ can be taken as subsuming whatever was needed to ‘enable’ the ‘take-off’ event. The ‘descend’ event easily attaches ‘return’. since at low altitudes. This inference was well documented in our empirical data (e. if material had been overlooked or subjected to decay. the ‘watching plane’ whose altitude would be lower than the rocket’s. or. and must be inferred to have been reached somewhere between ‘sped upward’ and ‘return’.7 The peak height of this particular flight is never mentioned at all. we turn to the findings on this text obtained by Walter Kintsch and Althea Turner at the University of Colorado and later replicated by Richard Hersh and Roger Drury at the University of Florida. it is not problematic). The presence of the entire fuel supply also indicates the rocket still being on the ground. The entry ‘rise’ also represents the ‘ascend’ event. it could certainly not be in motion yet.4. 1. a long with ‘sped upward’ and the increase in velocity (‘faster and faster).The various densities reflect the different degrees of node confirmation. not being relevant to a rocket without landing gear (hence. and. That event is shown to be imminent by the ‘flares’ serving’ as a signal to fire the rocket’. 3.5 [5. . The following state of being ‘near the ground’ is only inferentially represented by the first ‘slow’ rate of rising. 3. the schema could guide a PROBLEM-SOLVING search to restore connectivity (cf. in the sample protocol shown in VII. because none has been burned up. readers would infer the ‘empty’ state to be earlier than the ‘carry’ of the next assertion. and the final state ‘on the ground’ emerges from the mention of the ‘starting point’. The ‘take off’ is expressed only by means of ‘rise’.3. College students (mostly first-year) read the text either aloud or silently and were asked to write in their own words whatever they could remember. If a ‘flight’-schema had indeed been used. 3. Note that despite the lack of tense distinction (‘had weighed’ would be clearer). It is significant that the producer of our sample text saw no reason to say anything more as soon as the final schema event and state had been expressed. The notion of extreme altitude is at most suggested by the flame’s resembling ‘a yellow star’ and the rocket’s being ‘too high to be seen’ — reasoning by analogy in the first instance. The ‘land’ event attaches ‘plunge into earth’. Both of these predictions were confirmed by the data. and by disenablement in the second.6. by a further inference.6 As was suggested in III.29. though the “causal proximity” to ‘roar’ and ‘burst of flame’ points to the initial motion rather than to simply ‘ascending’.7).+ The state of ‘near the ground’ doesn’t attach anything. propulsion must work hardest against gravity and inertia.35).

and an expression without one-precisely the distinction at stake here.3. The question is especially hard to settle because of domain-specific effects. there was a striking total of 71 occurrences. and ‘plunge’ was reasonably preserved with 8. . together with alternatives (e. ‘lift off’. VII.4). ‘go up’). With 14 uses. 3.9 The inference that the ‘ready’ state should be associated with the take-off was often expressed in protocols.6 [6. Counting alternative expressions with initiation (e. what looks like verbatim recall might also be reconstruction via the schema. Thus. ‘come down). added to alternative expressions without initiation (e.7). The expression ‘take-off appeared verbatim in no less than 29 out of the 72 protocols for this text version.g. In one group of 36 readers. The expression ‘ascend’ was used by 6 subjects. This finding might arise from the focus on the more PROBLEMATIC aspects: propulsion and gravity make FAILURE more imminent (cf. such as ‘return’ and ‘plunge’. III.] The expression ‘descend’ (used by 7 subjects). such as ‘rise’ for two nodes. They are represented in the sample text by the same expression ‘rise’.g.10 The text makes no mention of the point where the rocket attained its maximum height. an ‘ascend’ followed by a ‘descend’ obviates the peak to a large extent.g. without which nothing more can happen. 16 subjects) totalled 33 occurrences. ‘return’ survived better than any schema-node expression. 3.3. The expressions with a termination component (especially ‘land’. two subjects who mentioned the rocket being ‘at its peak’ must also have been using the schema. such as the high relevance of ‘take-off’ in this particular event sequence. 3. the original ‘rise’ turned up in only 4 protocols.6.11 Subjects were less insistent on getting the rocket back down than they had been on getting it up. My data suggest that expressions failing to correspond to the schema pattern.12 A question arises here of fundamental import for language experiments. and.). ‘shoot off’ etc. yielded 27 recalls. as the original text attests. However. will be replaced more often than those which fit better. The trend was to build an event-centered perspective into the recall of states. We have seen that certain concepts are well recalled independently of the language material originally employed to express them. Of course. ‘launch’. But our subjects frequently split their recall into an expression with an initiation component.4. 3. reached 21 occurrences. whose disfavoring might be due to its representing two schema nodes at once (cf. The original text expressions fared better than ‘rise’. cf.6). or a mixture of both factors. 1. The treatment of the ‘take -off’ and ‘ascend’ events was still more revealing. Many subjects might have inferred this content but not bothered to mention it. Compare with footnote of 21 Chapter III. Surely such a result could not come from any source other th an a ‘flight’-schema. 9 wrote ‘ready for blastoff’ or words to that effect. This dominance of initiation expressions reflects their higher relevance for introducing the initial schema event.13 The material connected to schema states was retained much less well than that for events (note here that I did not include states among primary concepts.

6). ‘waiting for blast-off’. and so on (cf. Yet our subjects incorporated flight into their openings.3. Like actions.g. a moving object will attract attention over a stationary background (IV.9). no expressions like ‘in the air’ were found. Nothing like ‘on the ground’ appeared in any protocols. ‘pointing toward the sky’. but 3 wrote ‘higher’ and one ‘further into the air’. The conventional assumption that people are simply creating “traces” of input (cf. Again. events and actions will survive more often than other material. If we simply count the total number of propositions recalled.24). but only the event oriented ‘into the air’. they justly focus their processing resources on events and actions.2. the resulting scores did appear to correspond to our intuitive impression that one protocol attested better understanding than another. Given a situation where people have to do their best with the content of a textual world. e. 3.The original text starts off with the rocket merely ‘standing’ in a desert.15 Event representation in recall might accordingly correlate with the intuitive notion of “good understanding” for narrative texts. The locations of ‘desert’ (36 uses) and ‘earth’ (30) were doubtless supported by world-knowledge about rockets and by the lack of equally available alternative expressions. Some original state expressions in the text were well preserved. attributes.4. and ‘starting point’ only 3.1). Description of the final state ‘on the ground’ was often attuned to the initial event: the rocket was recalled reaching ‘the launch site’ or the place ‘where it took off’ etc. again showing focus on motion. All protocols emulated the original in making no reference to a location ‘near the ground’. for instance. No one recalled ‘high’. They had the ‘rocket on the launch pad’. But we have no basis yet for deciding how large the scale of numerical differences ought to be. however. in no less than 49 cases out of 72. 3. we might give higher ratings to someone who recovered a flurry of incoherent details.16 If processing involves spreading activation (III. and for stories in particular.3. the treatment of ‘ready’ cited in 3. When a tabulation method with higher numerical values for events was tested by Walter Kintsch and myself. Similarly. the problem of direct remembering versus reconstructing becomes acute. tabulation should perhaps take into account the number of propositions that some conceptual node might cause to arise through activation alone. if a SUMMARY is requested. . I present in Chapter VII some intriguing evidence that our test subjects were indeed supplying material in this fashion. than to someone who remembered a small number of main events. with no indication that flight is impending. Moreover.5). They update the textual world by definition and hence make the progression from the initial to the final state possible. The ‘flight’-schema is eminently suited for evoking concentrated focus on events. during which locations can be only momentary. If restrictions are placed on the extent of their protocols. ‘Stood’ came up 7 times.14 The clear dominance of event-based over state-based recall supports my premise that processing was dominated by a schema rather than a frame (VI.. events are multiple occurrences for processing (cf. 3. not location. III. because the motion between take-off and landing is continuous.

I cannot see how . Morgan 1978b: 265). Winston 1977: 72).I.1 For the orthodox behaviorist. The important differences of context are levelled. as if speech-acts need not be adapted to their environments of occurrence (cf. If stimuli and responses can be generalized over whole types and classes. missing the point. 4. I think.2 The need for human interaction emerges from the complex organization of social reality. behaviorism seems to end in either of two severe dilemmas. but it interacts heavily with patterns o f expectations such as schemas (Beaugrande & Miller 1980). those used to perform a marriage or open a meeting. Carried to its conclusion.Gomulicki 1956) obviously makes experimentation convenient. and theoretical models simple. or resources too limited.g. e.). There is no doubt some abstraction of “traces” going on. so that stimuli from the environment can be judged regarding their relevance and appropriate response. Cohen 1978: 26).2). Sadock 1970. The “performative utterances” of “speech-act” theory (Austin 1962: 4ff. These dilemmas only appear escapable if human actions are plan-directed. The more general case is only partial convergence: the discourse action is relevant to the speaker’s plan. but fails to account for the data I present. are situations where this dual status of discourse converges: the monitoring utterance is the event. The faculties for building and implementing complex plans whose individual actions may not be explainable via outward stimuli simply did not enter the picture. If every response must be paired with exactly one stimulus. van Dijk 1977a. operations would bog down in combinatorial explosion while searching for a means to characterize each stimulus coming along (cf. Discourse is a mode of symbolic interaction demanded especially when a situation is too intricate or diffuse. A theory of language that treats all utterances as performative by inserting ‘I assert’ in front of them and then deleting it to get the utterances back into their original form (cf. Bailmer 1976) is. Discourse functions as ACTION and INTERACTION that control the course of events (cf. and as META-ACTION and META-INTERACTION that provide a verbal monitoring and evaluating of the course of events (cf. Ross 1970a. Bruce 1975: 35): (186) I am now describing the situation in accord with my personal interests. to allow successful management by physical intervention. II. People hardly ever say things like (cf. (187) I hereby get you to see this my way. PLAN ATTACHMENT 4. or contingencies too dependent on personal motives. but not in ways openly and explicitly proclaimed. people would never know what to do when encountering new stimuli. Future research will undoubtedly shed more light on the matter. human activities are exemplified by jerking a knee struck with a rubber hammer or a hand burnt on a hot stove. 4.

7 [7. If a block or even outright failure is encountered (cf. 4. Galanter. the planner should not just back up and try again. or terminated—the familiar “test-operate-test-end’ (“TOTE’) model of Miller.41). Cohen 1978. cf. If people communicated by trying out this word or phrase. IX.pragmatics can make headway unless we are willing to explore the social realities of language use. the cat could only try one lever after another and with repeated trials. then that. The plan begins with an INITIAL STATE and runs to the FINAL STATE via a progression of INTERMEDIATE STATES— the “states” being defined from the planner’s standpoint.g. Cohen 1978: 26). Thorndike’s puzzle-cage was equipped with levers.11 are pervasive and fundamental preconditions for using discourse in plans.3 To be relevant to a GOAL. looping back to a previous one. and problem-solving (cf.1). long-range goal attainment demands the co-ordination and protection of subgoals (Rieger & London 1977.4.4 for a more extensive list). Davis & Chien 1977. There are PRECONDITIONS to be met (Sacerdoti 1977. ‘prerequisites” in Charniak 1975b). Schank & Abelson 1977. 4.39.1968). there are often many alternative actions to consider.6 The study of how people select actions has been hampered in the past by an insipid ‘trial-and-error” outlook on learning as inherited from Thorndike’s (1911) heavily biased experiments.’s (1968) example of someone pounding a nail into a board is far too simplistic as a model of human interaction. but analyze the failure to improve the plan (Sussman 1973.2. A plan is successful if the FINAL state matches the planner’s GOAL state. 4. Placed in the cage. Preconditions include both MATERIAL RESOURCES.4 A plan can be formally represented as composed of PATHWAYS leading from one situation or event to another. Cf. But Miller et al.6. then yet . understanding. For one thing. the planner needs only to test its current state in the situation and to decide what action should be performed. discourse actions should be relevant to steps in a PLAN. Wilensky 1978). The objection to this mechanism as a means of normal behavior is the same that applies to all stimulus-response theories: unworkability in complex settings because of combinatorial explosion (cf. Such planless actions are in reality the only way to handle such an odd situation —as Walter Kintsch (1977a: 441) comments. The standards of textuality as set forth in 1. e. the violation of the standards is usually taken as a signal of a plan to dtere or block communication. VI. only one of which opened the door.] and PROCESSING RESOURCES.5 Under the simplest circumstances. Wilensky (1978) on ‘objects” in story-worlds (also in VIII.2.7). and the resulting future states are much harder to predict. and Pribram 1960. VIII. 1. The goal state is thus a situation expected to be true in the world when the requisite actions and events have modified the current state of the world (cf. e. 4. continued. Sacerdoti 1977. In real situations. mental capacities providing attention.g. For that reason. even a Gestalt psychologist couldn’t have escaped from the cage except by trial-and-error. the cat was able to open the door right away. objects providing instrumental support for actions and events.4. Sacerdoti 1977). I. or on occasion.

] MEANS-END ANALYSIS (I.12ff. Stegmüller 1969: 391). III. Quite possibly.another. The same linkages of causality should apply as those for updating.7): the processor tries to predict and define the linkage to successor states. we might be able to apply the standards of textuality to action sequences as well as to texts. The process of UPDATING (I.2. enablement.. We can. cf. To find a path from the initial state to the goal state is a matter of SEARCH (cf. language interaction would look quite different from the way it does — much slower.4.8). There could be several ACTIVE CONTROL CENTERS: the current state. A PLANBLOCK—an occurrence which prevents the further pursuit of a goal-figures as a SERIOUS PROBLEM (I. VII. II. If the situation is complex or unfamiliar.6.).7 One could go to the other extreme and argue for the traditional criterion of maximal utility: choosing the most gainful alternative (cf. The pathway to a goal or subgoal is a MACRO-STATE in which each action is a MICRO-STATE (cf. PLAN COHESION results from the manifest connectivity between one action and the next in the sequence. INTENTIONALITY and ACCEPTABILITY cover the attitudes of the planner and the co-participants of interaction.8 If the notions just cited can indeed be generalized. A maximal utility setting emerges only in the rare case where every result of every action is foreseeable and calculable on a unified scale of values. and BACKWARD PLANNING with the goal state or with an intermediate state between the current one and the goal (cf.8 [8.1).7) and elicits corrective action at that stage.2. I would suggest that we should therefore envision the selection of discourse actions in a model of PROBLEM-SOLVING where trial-and-error.7ff on search types). In the latter. II.4) probably has a correlate of BACKDATING whereby a processor reasons from a given state about antecedent states. to see if the desired discourse would result.6. respectively. the planner must use general knowledge about causalities (cause. Whatever contextual knowledge the planner may possess about the situation serves to predict and define links. and important intermediate states expected to occur. A trial-and-error setting emerges only in the rare case where the planner has neither contextual nor general knowledge of what to do. 4. have only approximative application. Schank & Abelson 1977: 82.1) allows both forward and backward planning at once (Woods 1978b: 19f. I. describe PLAN COHERENCE as guaranteed by the RELEVANCE of its component actions to the states leading toward a goal (on ‘relevance” as task-oriented. The highest priority is the maintenance of stability via connectivity and continuity. reason. 4. participants seldom know the exact gains that a given discourse action brings. as well as maximal utility. Cohen 1978: 124).2.6. VI. the goal state. for one thing.9. the planner estimates the probabilities of bringing the goal nearer. But the game-theoretical situations used in philosophical discussions also do not bear much resemblance to human situations of communicative interaction. planning may be going on .1.7. The next state can thus be identified within a plan sequence in the same kind of operation described for AUGMENTED TRANSITION NETWORKS (cf.6. for example. FORWARD PLANNING is done best with the current state as control center. purpose) and try to infer the goals of other participants on that basis. Before a “trial” is made.

Table 2 offers what I take to be a plausible listing of desirability traits and their negative counterparts.). such as might act as defaults and preferences (after Beaugrande 1979a: 475) (for an assortment of elaborate formalisms for desirability. ranging from momentary desires to long-range undertakings. see Kummer 1975: 58ff. and past experience would be influential. A bank robbery would be a short. etc. Yet it seems safe to suggest that desires are both personally and socially defined. 4. I propose the DEFAULT or PREFERENCE assumption that a goal should at least qualify as a DESIRABLE state. One may dispute about what people’s desires are.). and directness would be inherently attractive traits for a pathway. . 4. Shortness. The criteria for choosing one path over another would depend upon the expected probabilities of attaining the goal and upon the relative undesirability of alternative final states. These considerations might be in conflict. Pugh 1977).9 A workable planner apparently requires multiple models of future worlds.10 Multiple goals are another factor to explore. ‘shot’. and whether they are all secondary to the desire for meresurvival(ef. Fikes & Niisson 1971). direct pathway to the common goal ‘have money’.simultaneously in various directions from several control centers (cf. oven though the overall probabilities are much the same. only some of which show the goal state successfully attained. case. A successful bank robber might disregard the risks and try again. but it carries a high probability of entry into intensely undesirable states (‘in jail’.

however. enjoyment. to seek a general set of features whose interaction and combination should make these goals generally describable. ‘have money’ could figure as ‘possession of instrument’ for such state types as health. to say nothing of the many whims that beset our everyday consciousness. III. .2ff. the degree of detail depends on the applications we want to make (cf. comfort. acceptance.). attractiveness.4.As with a typology of concepts. I think it useful. One might want to introduce goals like ‘have money’ or ‘outlive your enemies’ as primitives. For example. satisfaction.

e. Another possible outlook is to rate desirable states on scales of intensity. A TRADE-OFF ensues in which one desire is sacrificed for the sake of another. etc). Schank & Abelson 1977: 108).11 The default character of desires can be assumed because people often don’t make open declarations of what they want (cf. Limitations upon resources (V1. Good health could be undesirable for people seeking sympathy (trade-off: health for solidarity) or trying to escape school.).12 Everyday situations might seem replete with counter-examples where people are seeking undesirable states. contradictory. assume the identity resulting from a characteristic constellation of attributes and actions in conventional situations. Someone not desiring to move from this one state to the other should not enter the role. or heavy labor (example of the last in Goffman 1974: 116) (trade-off: small portion of health for comfort). But the instances brought to my attention so far all indicate a trade-off. We see some disadvantages of such short-sighted planning and resulting goal conflicts in the stageplay discussed later in this section.] Undesirable states can also result merely from incomplete. Short-range planning may attain desirable states with such speed or intensity that highly undesirable states become ineluctable afterwards. It is then a straightforward matter to predict what a participant in a given role desires. 1. people might desire to not understand requests and instructions (trade-off: knownness for comfort). The masochist seeking pain trades comfort for stimulation. and to desire ‘satisfaction’(PH3a). Defaults can be overridden by such evidence.9 [9. IV. and so on. at least as far as the role is being represented.independence control. a subtype of ‘need’ (PH3b). as undertaken by Schank (1975c: 45ff. or simply because desires CONFLICT with each other. 4. 4. a planner must make extensive INFERENCES based on this aspect of knowledge.4. We might also include here the antagonism between knownness and interestingness that is inherent in the nature of informativity in communication (cf. The other roles in the script exert similar controls on the respective participants (waiter. i. Altruistic people might sacrifice their own comfort for that of others (trade-off: comfort for kindness). military service. A participant can enter a ROLE.2 1). cashier. To avoid work. To discover other people’s plans. The planner relies on the general postulate of NORMALITY: that a given person has the usual desires unless evidence is provided to the contrary (cf. A person entering the ‘customer’-role in a ‘restaurant’-script can be assumed by default to be in the state of ‘hunger’. . Rieger 1975: 234). or erroneous knowledge among agents 4.13 The complexities of desirability can be brought readily under control by SCRIPTS.3) mean that expenditure in current states must be balanced against plans for expenditure later.

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