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ERIC Number: EJ1059132
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
Children's Developing Intuitions about the Truth Conditions and Implications of Novel Generics versus Quantified Statements
Brandone, Amanda C.; Gelman, Susan A.; Hedglen, Jenna
Cognitive Science, v39 n4 p711-738 May 2015
Generic statements express generalizations about categories and present a unique semantic profile that is distinct from quantified statements. This paper reports two studies examining the development of children's intuitions about the semantics of generics and how they differ from statements quantified by "all," "most," and "some." Results reveal that, like adults, preschoolers (a) recognize that generics have flexible truth conditions and are capable of representing a wide range of prevalence levels; and (b) interpret novel generics as having near-universal prevalence implications. Results further show that by age 4, children are beginning to differentiate the meaning of generics and quantified statements; however, even 7- to 11-year-olds are not adultlike in their intuitions about the meaning of "most"-quantified statements. Overall, these studies suggest that by preschool, children interpret generics in much the same way that adults do; however, mastery of the semantics of quantified statements follows a more protracted course.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH); National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: HD-36043|BCS-0817128