The processing of contradictory and non-contradictory negative sentences

Ping Du, Daiying Liu, Li Zhang, Glenn Hitchman, Chongde Lin

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Negative sentences implicitly refer to two states of affairs: the negated state of affairs and the actual state of affairs. The present study investigated whether the negated state of affairs was represented when processing negative sentences. By exploring the effects of the types of negation (contradictory and non-contradictory) and delays (250 and 1,500 ms) on the processing of negative sentences in a sentence–picture verification task, two experiments indicated that the negated state of affairs of negation was not always represented unconditionally. In addition, types of negation, rather than time delays, had a significant influence on the processing of negative sentences. For contradictory negations, the actual state of affairs rather than the negated state of affairs was available, even when the delay between the sentence and picture was short. In contrast, the negated state of affairs was represented for non-contradictory negations, even with a long delay.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-472
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
Volume26
Issue number4
Early online date7 Apr 2014
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Negation
  • The one-step model
  • The two-step model

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