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Article Title

Understanding Narrative

Keywords

narrative, narrative competence, knowledge, signs, narrating, origin, destination, time sequence, preservation of meaning, meaning, contrastive analysis, generalization, symbol

Abstract

Our ability to understand narratives—that is, our capacity for retelling them, paraphrasing them, summarizing them, expanding them, and specifying (at least some of) their points—is a function of our narrative competence. The latter is shown to include the following set of knowledges and abilities: (1) the knowledge that narrative consists of narrating (signs representing the narrating activity, its origin, and its destination) and narrated (signs representing real or fictive situations and events in a time sequence) and the ability to distinguish between the two; (2) the knowledge that the narrated describes changes of situations in time and that the preservation of its main chronological features is important for the preservation of its meaning; (3) the ability to focus on the narrating and, more particularly, on those evaluative statements pointing to a narrative lesson; (4) the ability to process the narrated in terms of a contrastive analysis; and (5) the ability to generalize the particulars depicted in the world of the narrated.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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