Acquisition of disjunction in conditional sentences
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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This study is concerned with the properties of the disjunction operator, or, and the acquisition of these properties by English-speaking children. Previous research has concluded that adult truth conditions for logical connectives are acquired relatively late in the course of language development. With particular reference to disjunction, the results of several studies have led to two claims. First, it has been argued that the full range of truth-conditions associated with inclusive-or is not initially available to children; instead, children are supposed to interpret disjunction using the truth conditions that are associated with exclusive-or (e.g., Beilin and Lust 1975; Braine and Rumain 1981, 1983; Paris 1973). A second, related claim is that even when children respond as if they have access to the complete range of truth conditions, their responses result from the failure to distinguish or from and (Paris, 1973).
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