Download Children's Explanations: A Psycholinguistic Study by Morag L. Donaldson PDF

By Morag L. Donaldson

How and whilst does the facility to provide and comprehend causes strengthen? Morag Donaldson without delay addresses this question within the current learn, delivering proof from a chain of imaginitive experiments she conducted with three- to 10-year-olds. unlike many past debts, she demonstrates that youngsters can distinguish among reason and impression and between actual, mental and logical family good ahead of the age of seven. The learn focuses totally on the linguistic talents which are wanted for rationalization, particularly the certainty of simply because, so, why?, and the way do you know?, and it makes a considerable contribution to our knowing of the semantics and pragmatics of causal connectives. in spite of the fact that, the examine additionally presents beneficial insights into kid's similar cognitive talents. kid's motives is a e-book that would be of equivalent curiosity to cognitive and developmental psychologists and to psycholinguistics, in addition to to researchers in schooling for whom its subject has to be of the most important value.

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Epstein found that the 6- to 7-year-olds and the 8- to 9-year-olds showed a strong tendency to answer 'Yes' to both questions in a pair. She interprets this as evidence in support of Piaget's claim that, for the young child, the elements in a causal relation are simply related by juxtaposition rather than being related in terms of some type of order or direction. However, the young children's performance may be attributable to a tendency to acquiesce. In particular, the children may believe that an adult would not ask an unanswerable Why?

2 Metalinguistic tasks (a) Acceptability tasks These tasks are based on the assumption that children's knowledge of the causal connectives' meaning will be reflected in their ability to judge the acceptability of sentences containing causal connectives. Some studies (Epstein, 1972; Corrigan, 1975; Emerson, 1979) have used tasks which require children to make judgements about the absolute acceptability of sentences. For each item in these tasks, the children were presented with a single sentence which they were required to judge as acceptable or unacceptable.

This problem is likely to have been particularly acute in Emerson's study, since she trained her subjects using a' silly' item which was silly because of the relations between the content words within a single clause: The dog drove the car. This may have encouraged the children to focus on the semantic content of the clauses linked by the connective, rather than on the relationship between the connective and the order of the clauses. In addition to asking the children to judge the acceptability of the sentences, Emerson asked them to change the sentences which they judged 'silly' into 'sensible' sentences and vice versa.

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