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ERIC Number: EJ1077854
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Cue Conflicts in Context: Interplay between Morphosyntax and Discourse Context in Danish Preschoolers' Semantic Role Assignment
Thomsen, Ditte Boeg; Poulsen, Mads
Journal of Child Language, v42 n6 p1237-1266 Nov 2015
When learning their first language, children develop strategies for assigning semantic roles to sentence structures, depending on morphosyntactic cues such as case and word order. Traditionally, comprehension experiments have presented transitive clauses in isolation, and cross-linguistically children have been found to misinterpret object-first constructions by following a word-order strategy (Chan, Lieven & Tomasello, 2009; Dittmar, Abbot-Smith, Lieven & Tomasello, 2008; Hakuta, 1982; McDonald, 1989; Slobin & Bever, 1982). In an act-out study, we replicated this finding with Danish preschoolers. However, object-first clauses may be context-sensitive structures, which are infelicitous in isolation. In a second act-out study we presented OVS clauses in supportive and unsupportive discourse contexts and in isolation and found that five- to six-year-olds' OVS comprehension was enhanced in discourse-pragmatically felicitous contexts. Our results extend previous findings of preschoolers' sensitivity to discourse-contextual cues in sentence comprehension (Hurewitz, 2001; Song & Fisher, 2005) to the basic task of assigning agent and patient roles.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A