Volume 53, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Sanders, Spooren and Noordman (1992) provide a classification of coherence relations that is based on four primitives. These primitives are claimed to have a psychological status, in that hearers and speakers use their knowledge of these primitives to infer the right coherence relation between two clauses.The order in which children acquire coherence relations provides a test base for the classification: the classification predicts that negative causal relations are the most complex and that children therefore acquire these relations later than any of the others.This hypothesis was investigated in an experiment with 8- and 11-year-old children. In one task the children had to infer the right relation, in another task the children had to produce the right relation. Negative causal relations were compared with negative additive and positive causal relations. The items were constructed with nonsense words to eliminate the factor of world knowledge. In several respects the negative causal relation turned out to be the most complex.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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