Accessibility navigation


On-line processing of English which-questions by children and adults: a visual world paradigm study

Contemori, C., Carlson, M. and Marinis, T. (2018) On-line processing of English which-questions by children and adults: a visual world paradigm study. Journal of Child Language, 45 (2). pp. 415-441. ISSN 0305-0009

[img]
Preview
Text - Accepted Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.

789kB

It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S0305000917000277

Abstract/Summary

Previous research has shown that children demonstrate similar sentence processing reflexes to those observed in adults, but they have difficulties revising an erroneous initial interpretation when they process garden-path sentences, passives, and wh -questions. We used the visual-world paradigm to examine children's use of syntactic and non-syntactic information to resolve syntactic ambiguity by extending our understanding of number features as a cue for interpretation to which -subject and which -object questions. We compared children's and adults’ eye-movements to understand how this information shapes children's commitment to and revision of possible interpretations of these questions. The results showed that English-speaking adults and children both exhibit an initial preference to interpret an object- which question as a subject question. While adults quickly override this preference, children take significantly longer, showing an overall processing difficulty for object questions. Crucially, their recovery from an initially erroneous interpretation is speeded when disambiguating number agreement features are present.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
ID Code:71760
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation