Children's comprehension of sentences with focus particles

Paterson, K.B, Liversedge, S.P, Rowland, C and Filik, R (2003) Children's comprehension of sentences with focus particles Cognition, 89, (3), pp. 263-294. (doi:10.1016/S0010-0277(03)00126-4).


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We report three studies investigating children's and adults' comprehension of sentences containing the focus particle only. In Experiments 1 and 2, four groups of participants (6–7 years, 8–10 years, 11–12 years and adult) compared sentences with only in different syntactic positions against pictures that matched or mismatched events described by the sentence. Contrary to previous findings (Crain, S., Ni, W., & Conway, L. (1994). Learning, parsing and modularity. In C. Clifton, L. Frazier, & K. Rayner (Eds.), Perspectives on sentence processing. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum; Philip, W., & Lynch, E. (1999). Felicity, relevance, and acquisition of the grammar of every and only. In S. C. Howell, S. A. Fish, & T. Keith-Lucas (Eds.), Proceedings of the 24th annual Boston University conference on language development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press) we found that young children predominantly made errors by failing to process contrast information rather than errors in which they failed to use syntactic information to restrict the scope of the particle. Experiment 3 replicated these findings with pre-schoolers.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/S0010-0277(03)00126-4
ISSNs: 0010-0277 (print)
ePrint ID: 44643
Date :
Date Event
October 2003Published
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 18:43
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