Engaging Text Structure: Reflections on a Cognitive Approach

Text Structure: Movie Scripts ?by Nelly TinchevaCOGNITIVE PHILOLOGYNo. 5 2012

This paper presents a cognitive-based analysis of the structure of movie scripts. Tincheva’s work is grounded in Lakoff’s theory of metaphor and embodied cognition. She identifies three types of structure: Textual World Structure, Superstructure, and the Overall Structure. Textual World structure organizes the mental models of people and objects in the fictional world. Superstructure models the text created in the mind as the text is read (or written) and is indicated by elements of the text such as sentences and clauses. Superstructure translates the Textual World into textual subdivisions: the Overall Structure that organizes the text into paragraphs or scenes.

Tincheva uses movie scripts in her analysis because the movie industry is notoriously proscriptive about structure. Movie scripts must follow a strict format that requires specific plot developments happen on specific pages. Each page in a script correlates to about one minute of movie time. Ten minutes into a movie will occur the MINI CRISIS ?. Within twenty minutes the DILEMMA ? […]