Title

The acquisition of temporal event sequencing: a cross-linguistic study using an elicited imitation task

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Winskel, H 2003, 'The acquisition of temporal event sequencing: a cross-linguistic study using an elicited imitation task', First Language, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 65-95.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0142723703023001004


Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Forty children aged between 3;6 and 7;6 years from each of threelanguages, English, Thai and Lisu, were asked to repeat sentencescontaining the bi-referential relations signalled by then, before,after, when, while, at the same time, until and since. Performanceon this elicited imitation task revealed that, across languages, thenhas a relatively early acquisition and since has a relatively lateacquisition. Language specific effects were also found, namely arelatively early acquisition of until in Lisu, and a relatively earlyacquisition of before and late acquisition of after in Thai. Analysisof substitution errors revealed common substitutions acrosslanguages for and and when, and of mono- for bi-referentialresponses. There was qualified support for the predictions thatsequentiality (then, before, after) occurs prior to simultaneity(while, at the same time), and for a relatively late acquisition of‘sequence and duration’ (since, until).