Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 21
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    FRIEDLINE, TERRI 2015. A Developmental Perspective on Children's Economic Agency. Journal of Consumer Affairs, Vol. 49, Issue. 1, p. 39.

    Beck, Sarah R. and Riggs, Kevin J. 2014. Developing Thoughts About What Might Have Been. Child Development Perspectives, Vol. 8, Issue. 3, p. 175.

    Rafetseder, Eva Schwitalla, Maria and Perner, Josef 2013. Counterfactual reasoning: From childhood to adulthood. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Vol. 114, Issue. 3, p. 389.

    Beck, Sarah R. Carroll, Daniel J. Brunsdon, Victoria E.A. and Gryg, Charlotte K. 2011. Supporting children’s counterfactual thinking with alternative modes of responding. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Vol. 108, Issue. 1, p. 190.

    Beck, Sarah R. and Crilly, Maria 2009. Is understanding regret dependent on developments in counterfactual thinking?. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Vol. 27, Issue. 2, p. 505.

    PERNER, JOSEF RENDL, BIBIANE and GARNHAM, ALAN 2007. Objects of Desire, Thought, and Reality: Problems of Anchoring Discourse Referents in Development. Mind & Language, Vol. 22, Issue. 5, p. 475.

    Beck, Sarah R. Robinson, Elizabeth J. Carroll, Daniel J. and Apperly, Ian A. 2006. Children's Thinking About Counterfactuals and Future Hypotheticals as Possibilities. Child Development, Vol. 77, Issue. 2, p. 413.

    Atance, Cristina M. and Meltzoff, Andrew N. 2005. My future self: Young children's ability to anticipate and explain future states. Cognitive Development, Vol. 20, Issue. 3, p. 341.

    Perner, Josef Sprung, Manuel and Steinkogler, Bettina 2004. Counterfactual conditionals and false belief: a developmental dissociation. Cognitive Development, Vol. 19, Issue. 2, p. 179.

    Moreno-Ríos, Sergio and García-Madruga, Juan A. 2002. El desarrollo del razonamiento sobre lo que podría haber ocurrido: condicionales indicativos y subjuntivos. Infancia y Aprendizaje, Vol. 25, Issue. 4, p. 485.

    Moloi, Francina 1998. Acquisition of Modal Auxiliaries in English L2. Southern African Journal of Applied Language Studies, Vol. 6, Issue. 2, p. 1.

    Riggs, Kevin J. Peterson, Donald M. Robinson, Elizabeth J. and Mitchell, Peter 1998. Are errors in false belief tasks symptomatic of a broader difficulty with counterfactuality?. Cognitive Development, Vol. 13, Issue. 1, p. 73.

    Morford, Jill P. and Goldin-Meadow, Susan 1997. From Here and Now to There and Then: The Development of Displaced Reference in Homesign and English. Child Development, Vol. 68, Issue. 3, p. 420.

    Harris, Paul L. German, Tim and Mills, Patrick 1996. Children's use of counterfactual thinking in causal reasoning. Cognition, Vol. 61, Issue. 3, p. 233.

    Wellman, Henry M. Harris, Paul L. Banerjee, Mita and Sinclair, Anna 1995. Early understanding of emotion: Evidence from natural language. Cognition & Emotion, Vol. 9, Issue. 2-3, p. 117.

    Boloh, Yves and Champaud, Christian 1993. The past conditional verb form in French children: the role of semantics in late grammatical development. Journal of Child Language, Vol. 20, Issue. 01,

    HARRIS, PAUL L. 1992. From Simulation to Folk Psychology: The Case for Development. Mind & Language, Vol. 7, Issue. 1-2, p. 120.

    Jorgensen, Julia C. and Falmagne, Rachel Joffe 1992. Aspects of the meaning of if … then for older preschoolers: Hypotheticality, entailment, and suppositional processes. Cognitive Development, Vol. 7, Issue. 2, p. 189.

    Weist, Richard M. 1989. Time and Human Cognition: A Life-Span Perspective.

    Wing, Clara S. and Scholnick, Ellin Kofsky 1986. Understanding the language of reasoning: Cognitive, linguistic, and developmental influences. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, Vol. 15, Issue. 5, p. 383.


The development of hypothetical reference in the speech of young children*

  • Stan A. Kuczaj (a1) and Mary J. Daly (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 October 1979

The data obtained in two investigations (one a longitudinal/cross-sectional naturalistic study, the other a quasi-experimental study) demonstrate that preschool age children have the capacity for hypothetical reference. However, the data also indicate that this capacity for hypothetical reference operates within certain constraints, particularly early in the preschool years. Specifically, future hypothetical reference is an earlier acquisition than past hypothetical reference; reference to single hypothetical events appears sometime prior to reference to sequences of hypothetical events; and accuracy is better in self-initiated than other-initiated hypothetical reference. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

E. Clark (1973). How children describe time and order. In C. Ferguson & D. Slobin (eds), Studies of child language development. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

J. Flavell (1963). The developmental psychology of Jean Piaget. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Child Language
  • ISSN: 0305-0009
  • EISSN: 1469-7602
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-child-language
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *