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Narrative representation theory: A creole-linguistic approach to superstructure

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The mission of Narrative Representation Theory is to provide insights into the general principles that operate in the formation of covert discourse structures in natural languages. Narrative representations, which function as part of the underlying language faculty, are direct projections of the discourse module in the mind/brain. They are realized as external levels of hierarchical units that include interpretation units, coherency units, episode units, juncture units, and apex units. Each of these levels may consist of a sequential unit of internal constituents that are realized by exposition, complication, and denouement. Creole languages, archetypal forms of human languages, present fundamental similarities in the organization of their discourse structures as well as a specific numerical preference in the representation of interpretation and coherency units. Despite the general view of discourse pertaining to a form of Externalized-Language (E-Language) in language use, the present study suggests that the system of suprasentential structure exits as part of Internalized-Language (I-Language) in our mind. Other evidence is also presented from the study of neurolinguistics, showing that narrative discourse configurations are processed and computed neurologically in the right hemisphere of the brain.
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Keywords: Internalized-Language; creoles as archetypal human languages; narrative superstructure; right-cerebral computations; universals and substrata

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: University of Hawaii at Hilo

Publication date: 01 February 2002

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