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Learning to presuppose

Final Activity Report Summary - L.P. (Learning to presuppose)

As proposed in the application the Fellow carried through an investigation of the development of presupposition comprehension and production proficiency in young children.

Previous developmental studies are concerned with older children (typically 4-to-10-year-olds) and tend to show that while their production of discourse particles is proficient from very early on, their understanding lags behind until school age.

The three experimental studies completed within the project were aimed at establishing whether younger children are able to draw presuppositional inferences.

The overall results suggest that children understand presuppositions associated with discourse particles by around 3 years of age, and thus much earlier than suggested by previous work.