Strategies in understanding an utterance

In            In understanding an utterance, there are three factors that help us, first are the factor deals with the knowledge of the world, syntactic and semantic factor. In the world-knowledge, the natural surroundings are what give us knowledge of life in the world. In the world-knowledge, we decided into three: universal, specific/ local, and accidental. Much of this knowledge is universal, and others are specifics about the environment in which we live. This knowledge is often the one factor which helps us to understand the utterance. Example:

a. He bought a pair of horse shoes
b. He bought a pair of alligator shoes

            We understand that the horse shoes are shoes worn by the horse, and alligator shoes are shoes made from crocodile leather, this understanding is based solely on knowledge of the world where we live, in this world we know that many horses that wear shoes and no crocodile wearing shoes.


            Second is specific knowledge, is the knowledge contained in a particular culture or society. In Java for instance there is a culture of society who is counting calendar days according to Java calendar, one of is included Kamis Wage, before Jum’at Kliwon. In Javanese culture Jum’at Kliwon was a horrific night, because at night there are many spirits, demons and so on. It clearly has a relation to the language comprehension, a sentence: "ini malam Jum’at Kliwon kan?" Should be understood as a statement that contains a spiritual meaning.

            The world-knowledge not only be universal or specific, but some are to be accidental, that is the third factors, that includes a historic event in the life of society and the only people who know at that time who can understand it.

Example: I'll give you my John Hancook.

            Besides the knowledge of the world, there are also factors that help us to understand an utterance, that is syntactic factor, as we have known that a sentences consist of constituents, these constituents also have a certain structure. The structure is what makes us to understand an utterance. In other words, we use syntactic strategy to help us to understand an utterance. Those syntactic strategies are:

1. Once we identify the first word of a constituents we hear, the mental processes will search for another word that is consistent with the first word in these constituencies.

2. After hearing the first word in a constituent, see if the next word ends a construction.

In English words when we hear the word, then we expect the emergence of a noun.

3. After we hear a verb, look for the number of arguments in line with those verbs.

4. Attach each new word on words that had just preceded it.

Besides syntactic, people also use semantic strategies in understanding an utterance

1. Use of reason in understanding an utterance
2. Looking for constituents which meet certain requirements of semantics
3. Identify the subject of an act                        
4. Find a pronoun, then look for a pronoun such antesiden

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