ERIC Number: ED129472
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Children's Comprehension of Sentences Expressing Simultaneity and Sequentiality.
Ginsberg, Erika Hoff; Abrahamson, Adele A.
In this study comprehension of sentences describing two events occurring simultaneously or in sequence was assessed in 5-, 7- and 9-year-old children. The sentences were at three different levels of linguistic complexity, differing only in whether simultaneity or sequentiality was described. Subjects were kindergarten, second, and fourth grade children from middle class homes where English was the only language used. Sentence comprehension was measured by a verification task. Results indicate that sentences describing simultaneity were better understood than descriptions of sequentiality. This finding supports the hypothesis that the cognitive complexity of the meaning expressed by language forms is an important determinant of comprehension. Findings contradict previous studies using different tasks that found opposite results, suggesting that cognitive complexity is not an absolute property of concepts, but depends on the processing requirements of specific tasks. The requirements of several previous tasks are compared to those of the present task, in which memory requirements were greater for sentences expressing sequentiality. (Author/SB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (84th, Washington, D. C., September 3-7, 1976; Based on Master's Thesis by first author, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey)