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ERIC Number: EJ951134
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
The Relation between Event Apprehension and Utterance Formulation in Children: Evidence from Linguistic Omissions
Bunger, Ann; Trueswell, John C.; Papafragou, Anna
Cognition, v122 n2 p135-149 Feb 2012
The relation between event apprehension and utterance formulation was examined in children and adults. English-speaking adults and 4-year-olds viewed motion events while their eye movements were monitored. Half of the participants in each age group described each event (Linguistic task), whereas the other half studied the events for an upcoming memory test (Nonlinguistic task). All participants then completed a memory test in which they identified changes to manners of motion and path endpoints in target events. In the Nonlinguistic task, eye movements and memory responses revealed striking similarities across age groups. Adults and preschoolers attended to manner and path endpoints with similar timing, and in the memory test both successfully detected manner and path changes at similar rates. Substantial differences in production emerged between age groups in the Linguistic task: whereas adults usually mentioned both manners and paths in their event descriptions, preschoolers tended to omit one event component or the other. However, eyegaze patterns remained equivalent across the two age groups, with both children and adults allocating more attention to event components that they planned to talk about. Children in the Linguistic task were at chance in the memory test, whereas adults actually showed a memory benefit as compared to the Nonlinguistic task. We conclude that developmental differences in the description of motion events are not due to pure attentional differences between adults and children, but leave open the possibility that they stem from limitations that are solely linguistic in nature or that arise at the interface of attention and language production. (Contains 9 tables and 3 figures.)
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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