NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ916404
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Mutual Exclusivity in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Testing the Pragmatic Hypothesis
de Marchena, Ashley; Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Worek, Amanda; Ono, Kim Emiko; Snedeker, Jesse
Cognition, v119 n1 p96-113 Apr 2011
While there is ample evidence that children treat words as mutually exclusive, the cognitive basis of this bias is widely debated. We focus on the distinction between pragmatic and lexical constraints accounts. High-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) offer a unique perspective on this debate, as they acquire substantial vocabularies despite impoverished social-pragmatic skills. We tested children and adolescents with ASD in a paradigm examining mutual exclusivity for words and facts. Words were interpreted contrastively more often than facts. Word performance was associated with vocabulary size; fact performance was associated with social-communication skills. Thus mutual exclusivity does not appear to be driven by pragmatics, suggesting that it is either a lexical constraint or a reflection of domain-general learning processes. (Contains 2 tables and 2 figures.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A