Ladder Understanding of Language How to Understand a Sentence


Language is expressed in a consecutive way that is called linearity; it is acceptable to think that language understanding also occurs in a linear way. In this paper, it will be argued that although sentences are expressed in a linear way, they are not understood in the same way, because we develop an understanding of the entwined phrases forming a sentence beyond the single words. Therefore, it is argued that linearity cannot adequately explain sentence understanding. In addition, by introducing the concept of mental work that is based on “the law of less work” or our natural tendency toward less mental effort, we will try to explain sentence understanding based on the ladder model instead of the linear model.

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