The X-Bar grammar for stories: Story grammar revisited

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The Story Grammar (S-G = Story Grammar) approach suggests a model based on the generative framework for representing both story structure and comprehension (cf.,for example, Rumelhart, 1975, 1977; Mandler and Johnson, 1977; Stein and Glenn, 1979; Thorndyke, 1975). The present paper is an attempt to develop the S-G model in two ways: 1. It suggests a radical revision of the S-G model replacing it with an X-Bar story grammar (XBSG), which incorporates the notion of the X-Bar grammar as developed in sentence level grammar (cf Jackendojf, 1977). I will argue that several fundamental shortcomings of the S-G (among which are the lack of ‘descriptive’ and ‘observational’ adequacy) can be overcome by a grammar based on the X-Bar model. 2. Of greater importance, it attempts to fill in the most significant deficiency of the traditional story grammars, namely, the lack of parsing procedures. Based on causal relations between propositions, the parsing procedures which are proposed take as their input propositions of the story and produce the tree diagram of that story as their output. Some empirical evidence, based on summary experiments, is introduced in support of the XBSG and the parsing procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-467
Number of pages53
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989


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