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

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

Example text

Language and the ability to evaluate contradictions and tautologies 225 conversational postulates, but in general are not nearly so difficult. For another, one would expect older subjects to be at least as sensitive as younger subjects to conversational postulates. Yet, as seen in Experiment 2, older subjects have more success than younger subjects with the nonempirical items. The results of Experiment 2 support Hypothesis 2. Comprehension of nonempirical sentences predicts well an objective attitude toward language.

We may consider that the marked topic (ordered by the syntactic transformation) exerts - for the listener - a bias value for NPl. This value then interacts with the directionality value of the verb to produce a sentence-specific value. This explanation is parallel to that advanced for the operation of the Congruence variable. To conclude, we have demonstrated a technique whereby an implicit semantic feature can be related to a grammatical alternative (pronoun-antecedent assignment) and thereby made explicit.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1962) Tholfght and Language. , MIT Press. On a remarqub que les enfants 6prouvent des difficult& i bvaluer des contradictions de la forme p & -p et des tautologies de la forme p v -p. On a fait les hypothsses suivantes: (a) Les difficult& de ces &non&s ne sont pas uniquement dues aux mots logiques qui les composent. (b) Une partie des difficult& provient du fait que leur valeur de v&it6 repose davantage sur leur forme linguistique que sur des consid&ations empiriques. (c) La capacite i examiner le langage de man&e objective, en dehors des &dnements et des objets auxquels il se r&f&e est une condition n&essaire mais non suffisante pour une &valuation correcte des contradictions et des tautologies.

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