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ERIC Number: ED140637
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Developmental Aspects of the Ability to Understand Semantic Ambiguity.
Brause, Rita S.
The hypothesized ability of adult native speakers to understand linguistic ambiguity was tested. An approach developed to determine linguistic competence tested the ability of 90 participants in individual interviews to interpret sentences having the potential for multiple interpretations. The hypothesis was not supported by the data. A hierarchy of these abilities, however, did emerge. The observed hierarchy across age (7 years to adult) and education (second grade to college graduate student) included the understanding of: (1) two meanings of a word presented in unambiguous contexts; (2) lexical ambiguity and/or figurative language; (3) surface structure ambiguity and/or multiplicity of pronoun referents; and (4) deep structure ambiguity. (Author/CFM)
Descriptors: Abstract Reasoning, Adults, Age Differences, Ambiguity, Children, Comprehension, Deep Structure, Grammar, Intellectual Development, Language Acquisition, Language Research, Linguistic Competence, Linguistic Performance, Linguistic Theory, Native Speakers, Semantics, Sentence Structure, Surface Structure, Syntax
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A