a1 University of Virginia
The utterance The man fell down because he slipped on a banana peel is a verbal statement in which causation is stated directly, and the major events are not reported in the perceptual order of occurrence. Surprisingly, in retelling 20 ‘stories’, 23 nursery-school children often refused to produce sentences in which causation was stated directly, but readily retold causationimplied utterances; performance was worst for unrelated (control) stories. Moreover, backward temporal order hurt performance only when causation was stated directly. Except for this latter condition, memory was best for the first half of the stories regardless of the temporal arrangement of the clauses. Finally, the majority of the story events were reproduced in the linguistic order in which they had been originally presented.
(Received August 01 1976)
[*] Appreciation is expressed to L. Starling Reid for his thoughtful comments and to C. Rojko and D. Bodsford for their assistance in the conduct of the study. Requests for reprints should be sent to the first author at 102 Gilmer Hall, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22901.