Comprehension and production of causality and counter-causality: distinctions based on the underlying process and the effects of formal education
Gabriela Mariel Zunino, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas | Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Gabriela Mariel Zunino, 2016: "Comprensión y producción de causalidad y contracausalidad: distinciones en función del proceso subyacente y efectos de la escolarización formal",
Onomázein 34, 132-151.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.34.6

We present a comparative study to analyze how speakers understand and produce specific semantic relations such as causality and counter-causality. We are particularly interested in analyzing whether there are differences based on the underlying process and how the level of formal education of the participants is involved regarding their performance. We have evaluated causal and counter-causal relations in various conditions: “then (entonces)” and “because (porque)” for causality; “but (pero)” and “although (aunque)” for counter-causality. Our general hypothesis postulates a cross-causal advantage that is modulated by level of education and the particular hypothesis predicts internal differences by dimension according to the specific condition and depending on the underlying process and the level of formal education. Our results support our general hypothesis and, indeed, exhibit peculiarities within each semantic dimension, depending on the specific construction and connective, which are not always independent of the process or the formal education level.