Commun Sci Disord. 2018;23(1): 119-128.
Published online March 31, 2018.
doi: https://doi.org/10.12963/csd.18458
The Processing of Ambiguous Verbs in School-Aged Children and Adults
Jung Min Ryua , Mina Hwangb , and Sunhee Koc
aGraduate School of Special Education, Dankook University, Yongin, Korea
bDepartment of Special Education, Dankook University, Yongin, Korea
cGraduate School of Special Education, Kongju University, Gongju, Korea
Corresponding Author: Sunhee Ko ,Tel: +82-41-850-8409, Fax: +82-41-850-8410, Email: shko@kongju.ac.kr
Received January 4, 2018  Revised: February 12, 2018   Accepted February 22, 2018
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When we read texts, it is necessary to access the meanings of various words. During this process, the meanings related to the context are facilitated, and the meanings unrelated to that context are suppressed. This study investigated whether children differ from young adults in the processing of ambiguous verbs.
This study was conducted with 25 children in 5th to 6th grade and 17 young adults. Response accuracy and reaction time were measured using a sensicality judgment task, where the participant judges if a sentence makes sense, or is nonsense, after reading it. This task was divided into consistent and inconsistent conditions depending on the consistency of meaning of ambiguous verbs in the priming and the target sentences.
Both children and adults showed lower accuracy and slower response times in the inconsistent condition than in the consistent condition. Children showed lower accuracy and slower response times than adults in both conditions. Children showed remarkably low accuracy in the inconsistent condition.
Children performed poorly compared to adults in reading comprehension, but tended to use contexts to process word meanings like adults. However, they showed difficulty suppressing information irrelevant to the context of sentences. It means that premature suppression ability can cause failures in reading comprehension for children.
Keywords: Ambiguous verbs | Context effect | Suppression | Sensicality judgment task
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