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Abstract

Three experiments investigated the influence of connectives on memory for expository text. Subjects in Experiments 1 and 2 read and later recalled passages with either no connectives, temporal connectives (before/ and then), causal connectives (which caused/which enabled), or intentional connectives (in order that/so that). There was connective interference rather than connective facilitation in the studies reported here: the recall for passages without connectives was higher than the recall for passages with connectives. The results partially supported a semantic complexity hypothesis, which predicted that recall should increase with the semantic complexity of the connective (i.e. temporal < causal < intentional). In a third experiment, the semantic appropriateness of the connective was manipulated. Recall for passages without connectives was better than recall for passages with either appropriate or inappropriate connectives. In a fourth experiment, the subjects filled in missing connectives in natural expository texts. Subjects were able to select the connective category which was originally used by the author. The influence of connectives on text was discussed from the perspective of resource limitations, elaborations, and the semantic compatibility of the connectives to the text.