School of English

Benedict Neurohr

Research Student,


Research Summary

Current Status

PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic

Language Understanding in Texts

Research Summary

My PhD research explores what it means to understand texts using a combined framework of literary stylistics and poetics research and cognitive science. The impetus comes from the notions of a Situation Model used to great effect in current literary research (van Dijk and Kintsch, 1983; Zwaan, 1994; Zwaan, Langston and Graesser, 1995; Sanford and Emmott, 2012). My guiding question is: What is a situation, and when can we say we understand it? By returning to the roots of literary and philosophical understanding about situations I hope to give a clearer view of what this often mysterious term can mean. Utilizing modern advancements in cognitive science, specifically using the theories of Predictive Coding (Rao and Ballard, 1999; Friston, 2002, 2005; Park and Friston, 2013), I aim to show what understanding language may mean specifically, and how this applies to our conceptualization of events. The intended result is a clear, broad and robust theoretical basis for future research into situational understanding in fictional texts, and how and why readers interpret and respond as they do.

Research Interests

Stylistics, Cognitive Science, Cognitive Poetics, Cognitive Grammar

Research Supervisors

Primary Funding Source

School of English PhD Tuition Fee Scholarship

Research Institutes, Centres and/or Research Clusters Memberships

Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA)

Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics (CRAL)

Conference Papers & Presentations

"A Predictive Coding Approach to Text World Theory," Experiencing Fictional Worlds: Where Does A Text Take A Reader?, June 2016

School of English

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The University of Nottingham
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