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ERIC Number: EJ1151512
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Children's On-Line Processing of Epistemic Modals
Moscati, Vincenzo; Zhan, Likan; Zhou, Peng
Journal of Child Language, v44 n5 p1025-1040 Sep 2017
In this paper we investigated the real-time processing of epistemic modals in five-year-olds. In a simple reasoning scenario, we monitored children's eye-movements while processing a sentence with modal expressions of different force ("might/must"). Children were also asked to judge the truth-value of the target sentences at the end of the reasoning task. Consistent with previous findings (Noveck, 2001), we found that children's behavioural responses were much less accurate compared to adults. Their eye-movements, however, revealed that children did not treat the two modal expressions alike. As soon as a modal expression was presented, children and adults showed a similar fixation pattern that varied as a function of the modal expression they heard. It is only at the very end of the sentence that children's fixations diverged from the adult ones. We discuss these findings in relation to the proposal that children narrow down the set of possible outcomes in undetermined reasoning scenarios and endorse only one possibility among several (Acredolo & Horobin, 1987, Ozturk & Papafragou, 2015).
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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