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ERIC Number: EJ1102951
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Effects of Target Attributes on Children's Patterns of Referential Under- and Overspecification
Charest, Monique; Johnston, Judith R.
Journal of Child Language, v43 n4 p867-889 Jul 2016
We examined the effects of object attributes on children's descriptive patterns in a referential communication task. Thirty preschoolers described object pairs that were selected by the experimenter. The targets were defined by shared size or colour, and differed on the non-target dimension in half of the trials. The children also completed a non-verbal reasoning task with analogous stimuli. They selected objects after observing the experimenter make a choice and inferring the basis for selection. In the communication task, the children produced fewer size than colour descriptions, particularly when the size targets differed in colour. They also over-specified colour features more often than size. They did not show a similar challenge identifying size relationships in the non-verbal task. The results support the conclusion that target attributes have a systematic influence on children's referential performance. Potential mechanisms for these effects, and directions for future research are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A