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  • Florit, Cain, Levorato_20_07_16

    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, First Language, 37 (2), 2017, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2017 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the First Language page: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/fla on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/

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    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Understanding the semantic functions of but in middle childhood: the role of text- and sentence-level comprehension abilities

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/04/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>First Language
Issue number2
Volume37
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)109-129
Publication statusPublished
Early online date22/11/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We examined Italian 7- to 9-year-olds’ understanding of the connective but when used to relate two events in sentences embedded in short stories. Performance was largely accounted for by the cognitive complexity of the sentence that included the connective and the salience of its meaning (confirmed in a second study with adults). Additional influences on children’s performance were the category of the story in which the critical sentence was embedded and the child’s text comprehension abilities. Further, by 9 years of age, performance resembled that of adults. These findings make an advance in explaining the role of information presented in a text at different levels and an individual’s linguistic abilities in children’s understanding of the connective but in stories and its development.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, First Language, 37 (2), 2017, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2017 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the First Language page: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/fla on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/