Relational Terms

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  • Scholars have considered young children's acquisition of relational terms for several different purposes. These include assessing hypotheses regarding processes and sequences of word acquisition, assessing comprehension of words with contrasting meaning (e.g., more and less), investigating the intersections of language and cognition, assessing whether linguistic knowledge of relational terms mediates performance on the Piagetian tasks used to assess children's concrete-operational status, and exploring relations between certain words as they are used in natural language and in logical reasoning.

    There is no consensus as to the definition (either intensional or extensional) of the expression relational terms. However, it is generally agreed that these terms do not themselves refer to entities, states, or situations; and they express a relation between various entities, states, situations, or linguistic units.

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