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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews results from recent experimental studies on the acquisition of logical connectives. Developmental psychologists have long been interested in the development of logic in children, and recent research in this field has made great advancement by incorporating insights from theoretical linguistics. There are two important theoretical grounds that were crucial to such advancement. One is dissociation between pragmatic implicature and lexical semantics. The other is a model of semantic interaction between a logical connective and another logical word in the same sentence. Experimental results from recent studies that incorporated these insights strongly suggest that preschool children have sophisticated semantic knowledge of logical connectives, even though their behavior may sometimes deviate from adults’ behavior.

Keywords: logical connective, disjunction, conjunction, negation, pragmatic implicature, scope, focus, positive polarity

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