Events

We explore how preschoolers interpret the verbs want, think, and hope, and whether syntactic environment influences interpretation. Previous research suggests that children are influenced by reality when interpreting think but not want. However, these verbs have not been tested under the same conditions. We develop a new methodology for probing think and want. We also examine hope, which shares features with both verbs. We find that children are still adult-like with want but not think; and interpretation of hope is dependent on the syntactic frame it is presented in.