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ERIC Number: EJ880318
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-1048-9223
Priming of Abstract Logical Representations in 4-Year-Olds
Viau, Joshua; Lidz, Jeffrey; Musolino, Julien
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v17 n1-2 p26-50 2010
Though preschoolers in certain experimental contexts strongly prefer to interpret ambiguous sentences containing quantified NPs and negation on the basis of surface syntax (e.g., Musolino's 1998 "observation of isomorphism"), contextual manipulations can lead to more adult-like behavior. But is isomorphism a "purely" pragmatic phenomenon, as recently proposed? In Experiment 1, we begin by isolating the contextual factor responsible for children's improvement in Musolino & Lidz (2006). We then demonstrate in Experiment 2 that this factor can be used to prime inverse scope interpretations. To remove pragmatics from the equation to the extent possible, we show in Experiment 3 that the same effect can be achieved via semantic priming. Our results represent the first clear evidence for priming of the abstract logico-syntactic structures underlying these interpretations and, thus, highlight the importance of language processing alongside pragmatic reasoning during children's linguistic development. (Contains 16 footnotes and 7 figures.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A