What hinders child semantic computation: children's universal quantification and the development of cognitive control.

Published

Journal Article

Recent studies on the acquisition of semantics have argued that knowledge of the universal quantifier is adult-like throughout development. However, there are domains where children still exhibit non-adult-like universal quantification, and arguments for the early mastery of relevant semantic knowledge do not explain what causes such non-adult-like interpretations. The present study investigates Japanese four- and five-year-old children's atypical universal quantification in light of the development of cognitive control. We hypothesized that children's still-developing cognitive control contributes to their atypical universal quantification. Using a combined eye-tracking and interpretation task together with a non-linguistic measure of cognitive control, we revealed a link between the achievement of adult-like universal quantification and the development of flexible perspective-switch. We argue that the development of cognitive control is one of the factors that contribute to children's processing of semantics.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Minai, U; Jincho, N; Yamane, N; Mazuka, R

Published Date

  • November 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 39 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 919 - 956

PubMed ID

  • 22182242

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22182242

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-7602

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0305-0009

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/s0305000911000316

Language

  • eng