Do Children Interpret ‘Marked’ Comparative Adjectives as Their Opposites?
Children aged 2;6-4;o were asked questions containing comparative and superlative forms of adjectives from pairs designated as unmarked/marked or simply positive/negative. Children’s answers required a choice of one out of five objects. Differences in frequency of correct responses were generally greater between unmarked/marked pairs than between simple positive/ negative pairs, but the response of ‘greatest extent’ to marked adjective questions was seldom a significantly common error. Linguistic arguments for the unmarked/marked distinction in comparative adjectives are reviewed, and it is concluded that there is no linguistic or behavioural evidence for a marking explanation of children’s difficulty with ‘marked’ comparative adjectives.
MSU Digital Commons Citation
Townsend, David, "Do Children Interpret ‘Marked’ Comparative Adjectives as Their Opposites?" (1976). Department of Psychology Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works. 183.