Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/19816
Title: Young children's comprehension of English SVO word order revisited : testing the same children in act-out and intermodal preferential looking tasks
Authors: Chan, A 
Meints, K
Lieven, E
Tomasello, M
Keywords: Act-out
Early linguistic/cognitive representations
Intermodal preferential looking
Word order comprehension
Issue Date: 2010
Source: Cognitive development, 2010, v. 25, no. 1, p. 30-45 How to cite?
Journal: Cognitive Development 
Abstract: Act-out and intermodal preferential looking (IPL) tasks were administered to 67 English children aged 2-0, 2-9 and 3-5 to assess their comprehension of canonical SVO transitive word order with both familiar and novel verbs. Children at 3-5 and at 2-9 showed evidence of comprehending word order in both verb conditions and both tasks, although children at 2-9 performed better with familiar than with novel verbs in the act-out task. Children at 2-0 showed no evidence of comprehending word order in either task with novel verbs; with familiar verbs they showed competence in the IPL task but not in the act-out task. The difference in performance for familiar and novel verbs from the same children at 2-0, on the IPL task, and at 2-9, on the act-out task, is consistent with the hypothesis that early linguistic/cognitive representations are graded in strength, with early representations still weak and very task dependent. However, these representations also become more abstract with development, as indicated by the familiarity effect even in the more sensitive IPL task.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/19816
ISSN: 0885-2014
DOI: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2009.10.002
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