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Knoepke, Julia; Richter, Tobias; Isberner, May-Britt; Naumann, Johannes; Neeb, Yvonne; Weinert, Sabine:

Processing of positive-causal and negative-causal coherence relations in primary school children and adults
A test of the cumulative cognitive complexity approach in German

In: Journal of Child Language, 44 (2017) 2 , 297-328

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Document type
3a. Beiträge in begutachteten Zeitschriften; Aufsatz (keine besondere Kategorie)

Deutsch, Deutschland, Empirische Untersuchung, Erwachsener, Grundschule, Grundschüler, Hören, Kognition, Kognitive Prozesse, Lesen, Leseverstehen, Semantik, Technologiebasiertes Testen, Test, Textanalyse, Textinterpretation, Textverständnis

Establishing local coherence relations is central to text comprehension. Positive-causal coherence relations link a cause and its consequence, whereas negative-causal coherence relations add a contrastive meaning (negation) to the causal link. According to the cumulative cognitive complexity approach, negative-causal coherence relations are cognitively more complex than positive-causal ones. Therefore, they require greater cognitive effort during text comprehension and are acquired later in language development. The present cross-sectional study tested these predictions for German primary school children from Grades 1 to 4 and adults in reading and listening comprehension. Accuracy data in a semantic verification task support the predictions of the cumulative cognitive complexity approach. Negative-causal coherence relations are cognitively more demanding than positive-causal ones. Moreover, our findings indicate that children's comprehension of negative-causal coherence relations continues to develop throughout the course of primary school. Findings are discussed with respect to the generalizability of the cumulative cognitive complexity approach to German. (DIPF/Orig.)

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