A Longitudinal Study on the Development of Taiwanese Children’s Use of Causal and Anaphoric Cue


Making causal connections and anaphoric inference referring expressions is important in forming a coherent discourse representation. Causal inference is central to the representation of reading comprehension. Zero pronoun sentences are grammatical in Mandarin Chinese. Therefore, this longitudinal study focused on the development of inferring causal and anaphoric coherence among elementary school children in Taiwan. In this two-year study, we reported data from 338 children in three age groups: 104 grade second, 123 grade third and 111 grade forth children in the first year. For each subject, 36 experimental short texts and 18 fillers in randomized order were implemented in Experiment Builder. We manipulated causality (high or low) and anaphoric resolutions (overt or zero pronoun) in texts. The patterns in this study indicated the importance of causality for the on-line inferences. There were steady developments of causal and anaphoric inference in three age groups during the study periods.

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