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In ordinary reading, the reader draws upon a variety of sources of information to construct mental models of the situation a writer or speaker is describing. Marslen-Wilson (1975) referred to sentence perception as an "interactive parallel process [with] on-line interaction between structural, lexical, and phonetic levels."

Structural processing involves the rules for assembling words or other idea units into larger scale structures. It includes grammar and also the organization of paragraphs and larger structures such as the plots of stories.

Lexical processing involves knowing word meanings. ("Lexicon" can be a synonym for "dictionary.")

What are lexical, structural, and phonetic components of text processing?

Phonetic processing is sound-based processing; decoding the sounds of words by looking at letters.

To say all these interact in a parallel process is to say they influence each other all at once. They do not occur in a rigid sequence, one after another. All the processes proceed at the same time. For example, structure helps determine meaning, and meaning (at the same time) influences which of several word pronunciations are chosen.

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