Decoding and Meaning-building Processes

From Appendices 1 & 2 in Field, J. (2008). Listening in the language classroom.

Decoding Processes

  1. Phoneme level
  1. Phoneme recognition in a range of contexts
  2. Discriminating consonants
  3. Discriminating vowels
  4. Recognizing consonant clusters
  5. Extrapolating spellings from sounds
  1. Syllable level
  1. Recognizing syllable structure
  2. Recognizing syllable stress
  3. Treating stressed syllables as more reliable
  4. Using stressed syllables as access codes
  5. Using weak syllables to locate function words
  1. Word level
  1. Lexical segmentation
  1. Rhythm-based strategies
  2. Using prefixes and suffixes as boundary markers
  3. Using fixed stress (where appropriate)
  1. Recognizing variant forms of words
  1. Allowing for cliticization
  2. Allowing for resyllabification
  3. Recognizing weak forms of function words
  4. Recognizing assimilated words
  5. allowing for elision
  6. recognizing reduced words within intonation groups
  1. Recognizing complete formulaic chunks
  2. Using awareness of word frequency
  3. Current activation
  4. Spreading activation (word networks in the mind)
  5. Distinguishing known and unknown words
  6. Dealing with unknown words: infer – generalize – ignore
  7. Automatic lexical access
  1. Syntactic parsing
  1. Building syntactic structures during pauses and fillers
  2. Using planning pauses to demarcate syntactic structures
  3. Distinguishing planning and hesitation pauses
  4. Using intonation groups to demarcate syntactic structures
  5. Building a syntactic structure online
  1. Testing hypotheses
  2. Using probability
  3. Recognizing syntactic chunks
  4. Recognizing the sentence pattern associated with the verb
  5. Recognizing primary L2 cues to syntactic organization
  1. Understanding functional language
  2. Drawing inferences based on syntax
  1. Intonation level
  1. Relating intonation groups to syntactic structure
  2. Forming and testing decoding hypotheses as an intonation group proceeds
  3. Identifying focally stressed syllables
  4. Treating focally stressed syllables as central to the message
  5. Recognizing recurrent intonation-group chunks
  6. Guessing words of low prominence in the intonation group
  1. Normalization to speaker voices
  1. Allowing for voice variation
  2. Setting baseline for loudness, pitch level, speech rate
  3. Drawing on an accent repertoire

Meaning-Building Processes

  1. Word meaning
  1. Narrowing word sense to fit context
  2. Dealing with word ambiguity
  3. Inferring meaning of unknown words
  1. Syntactic meaning
  1. Relating syntax to context
  2. Interpreting speaker’s functional intentions
  3. Forming inferences from syntactic information
  1. Intonation meaning
  1. Recognizing given/new relationships
  2. Distinguishing given/new and contrastive and emphatic stress
  3. Relating contrastive and emphatic focal stress to context
  4. Recognizing finality
  5. Recognizing the end of a speaker turn
  6. Using intonation to identify questions in statement form
  7. Distinguishing a confirmation request from a more open question
  8. Distinguishing echoes and challenges
  9. Distinguishing neutral – emotive – withdrawn intonations
  1. Using contextual knowledge
  1. World knowledge
  2. Topic knowledge
  3. Speaker knowledge
  4. Knowledge of situation
  5. Knowledge of setting
  1. Using schematic knowledge (including scripts)
  1. Predicting what will be said
  2. Triggering spreading activation
  3. Inferring what the speaker has not expressed
  4. Allowing for culturally determined schemas
  1. Context/co-text and meaning
  1. Using context and co-text to narrow down word meaning
  2. Using context and co-text to infer pragmatic meaning
  3. Using context and co-text to infer word meaing
  1. Using inference
  1. Inferring information the speaker has left unsaid
  2. Inferring connections between pieces of information that were not made explicitly
  1. Making reference connections
  1. Carrying forward current topics
  2. Dealing with imprecise reference
  1. Interpreting the utterance
  1. Interpreting speaker language
  2. Deep processing
  1. Selecting information
  1. Considering relevance
  2. Considering redundancy: addition versus repetition
  3. Dealing with incoherence
  1. Integrating information
  1. Connecting new information
  1. Recognizing locally connecting linkers
  2. Recognizing “signpost” linkers
  3. Recognizing links not marked by linkers
  1. Monitoring for consistency
  2. Structuring the discourse
  1. Recognizing topics and sub-topics
  2. Using formal schemas
  1. Forming and checking provisional discourse representations
  1. Forming the basis for a discourse representation
  2. Accepting an indeterminate representation
  3. Checking, revising, and upgrading a discourse representation