Children's linguistic intuitions about factive presuppositions
Third and sixth graders' understanding of factive presupposition was investigated via two tasks: One required an abstract truth value judgment of the verb complement; the other called for a more informal judgment of consistency (or contradiction) between the target sentence and the negation of its complement. When compared with corresponding adult data, the present results indicate that the development of factive presupposition continues through late childhood. A further task examined a nonlogical pragmatic variable related to factive meaning. The final task investigated whether children's judgments of overall certainty are governed by factive or pragmatic aspects of meaning. Comparisons across the four tasks indicate that factive presupposition only gradually emerges as a distinct logical component of verb meaning. It is argued that young children's initial discriminations between factive and nonfactive verbs reflect the subjective confidence conveyed by the verb rather than the logical property of factivity, but that later in acquisition, factivity acquires a status superseding that of other facets of meaning. © 1994.
Falmagne, Rachel Joffe; Gonsalves, Joanna; and Bennett-Lau, Sarah, "Children's linguistic intuitions about factive presuppositions" (1994). Psychology. 810.