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By J. Mehler & T. G. Bever (Editors)

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Extra info for Cognition, Vol. 3, No. 3

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In both tasks the dominant response was weak and was not statistically significant. Several other tentative observations emerged from the item analysis. , items with criticize, praise, and blame all elicited strong NP2 responses; 2) the position of assertional focus may have some influence on strength of response, but it did not appear to influence the type of response. Subjects responded similarly to Bill sold the exam questions to John and Henry sold Bill the bike. 3) The status relationships of the antecedent noun phrases, though not systematically compared in Study I, appeared to be a potential factor in the strength of the response.

The soldiers feared the natives because they... (-) The soldiers did not fear the natives because they... ) Why did the mother punish her daughter? ) The mother punished her daughter because she... , (Cong) The prisoner confessed to the guard because he... (NonC) The guard confessed to the prisoner because he... *In using the term ‘semantic feature’ we do not espouse any particular theoretical position as to the dividing line between semantic knowledge and ‘knowledge of the world’. We leave open the question of whether the phenomenon investigated in these studies should be classed as a grammatical or extragrammatical one.

The present study is exploratory, and both empirical and conceptual elaboration is needed. Obviously, our conditional probability analyses are only a weak test of Hypothesis 2. Training studies would be useful to support our conclusions. Also, the source of children’s difficulty with the language objectivity items remains to be determined. Aside from additional experiments, however, the concepts of language objectivity and nonempiricality require clarification. ** As for nonempiricality, its clarification amounts to a deeper understanding of logical truth.

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