ERIC Number: ED214678
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Contextual Constraints on the Comprehension of "Before" and "After".
Carni, Ellen; French, Lucia
The "contextual hypothesis" of French and Brown (1977) concerning children's acquisition of temporal terms was tested. French and Brown claimed that it would be impossible for children to learn the meaning of temporal terms except by hearing them used in contexts where they referred to already known sequences, and further proposed that the terms would be understood in such contextually supported settings earlier than in settings where they established an order between inherently unordered events. Subjects were sixteen 3- and sixteen 4-year-old children. To assess subjects' understanding of the terms "before" and "after" 16 stories were composed that described activities with which young children could be assumed to be familiar. Half of the stories described activities having a more or less invariant real-world order. The remaining stories described activities that were familiar to young children, but that had no inherent real-world order constraints. The experimenter read each story and placed the picture corresponding to the sentence being read in front of the child. The order of the pictures corresponded to the order of events in the story. Following the presentation of each story the subject was asked what happened either before or after the third event. Results are discussed. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).