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The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 18, Issue 1/4, 2002

John E. Henning
Pages 143-158

Expanding Relationships
A Semiotic Description of Development in the Interpretation and Organization of Text

This article examines the reading protocols of eleventh grade, primary school (USA) students for the purpose of better understanding their development in the interpretation and organization of text. Peirce’s description of thought as a triadic process is utilized to show how a continuous process of differentiation and integration leads to an increasingly sophisticated perception of context, organization and coherence within a text. More proficient student readers are simultaneously better able to distinguish more finely and to integrate more broadly across the text. For all levels of readers, it is in the interplay between differentiation and integration that meaning emerges.

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