Recent experimental results suggest that negation is particularly challenging for children with reading difficulties. This study looks at how young poor readers, speakers of Mandarin Chinese, comprehend affirmative and negative sentences as compared with a group of age-matched typical readers. Forty-four Chinese children were tested with a truth value judgment task. The results reveal that negative sentences were harder to process than affirmative ones, irrespective of the distinction between poor and typical readers. Moreover, poor readers performed worse than typical readers in comprehending sentences, regardless of whether they were affirmative or negative sentences. We interpret the results as (a) confirming the two-step simulation hypothesis, based on the result that the difficulty in processing negation has a general validity (persisting in pragmatically felicitous contexts), and (b) disconfirming that negation, as far as behavioral data are concerned, can be used as a reliable linguistic predictor of reading difficulties.

Difficulties in Comprehending Affirmative and Negative Sentences: Evidence From Chinese Children With Reading Difficulties

Fiorin, Gaetano;
2018-01-01

Abstract

Recent experimental results suggest that negation is particularly challenging for children with reading difficulties. This study looks at how young poor readers, speakers of Mandarin Chinese, comprehend affirmative and negative sentences as compared with a group of age-matched typical readers. Forty-four Chinese children were tested with a truth value judgment task. The results reveal that negative sentences were harder to process than affirmative ones, irrespective of the distinction between poor and typical readers. Moreover, poor readers performed worse than typical readers in comprehending sentences, regardless of whether they were affirmative or negative sentences. We interpret the results as (a) confirming the two-step simulation hypothesis, based on the result that the difficulty in processing negation has a general validity (persisting in pragmatically felicitous contexts), and (b) disconfirming that negation, as far as behavioral data are concerned, can be used as a reliable linguistic predictor of reading difficulties.
2018
Pubblicato
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/metrics/10.1177/0022219417714775#articleCitationDownloadContainer
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3031562
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