Pragmatics and Cognition 17 (3):509-526 (2009)

Timo Jarvilehto
University of Helsinki (PhD)
The paper introduces measurement of fixation-speech intervals as an important tool for the study of the reading process. Using the theory of the organism-environment system, we developed experiments to investigate the time course of reading. By combining eye tracking with synchronous recording of speech during reading in a single measure, we issue a fundamental challenge to information processing models. Not only is FSI an authentic measure of the reading process, but it shows that we exploit verbal patterns, textual features and, less directly, reading experience. Reading, we conclude, is not a matter of decoding linguistic information. Far from being a text-driven process, it depends on integrating both sensory and motor processes in an anticipatory meaning generation based on the history of experience and cultural context of the reader. Finally, we conclude with remarks on the social character and cognitive history of reading.
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DOI 10.1075/pc.17.3.02jar
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