Title

The acquisition of temporal reference cross-linguistically using two acting-out comprehension tasks

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Winskel, H 2004, 'The acquisition of temporal reference cross-linguistically using two acting-out comprehension tasks', Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 333-355.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:JOPR.0000035105.65440.b8

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

The acquisition of temporal event referencing, encoded by the temporal connectives: then, before,after, when, while, together, until, and since in English, Thai and Lisu was investigated using twoacting-out comprehension tasks, a Marble task and a Toy task. Forty children aged3.6–7.6 years from each language participated. The Marble and Toy tasks differed in their cognitive complexity: in the Marble task the child had to act out only one clause, whereas in theToy task the child had to act out both clauses. This task manipulation affected performance inLisu children only. Language-general effects were found, namely “then” and “together” were relatively early and “since” was relatively late in acquisition. Language-specific effects were foundfor Thai and Lisu. Results confirm that characteristics of task and test sentences affect children’s comprehension of sentences expressing temporal relations and can partially account forthe disparity in acquisition order found in previous studies