Why vs what else

At her child care, a branch had fallen and knocked over the fish bowl.  The fish were “rescued” but later died.

“Lillian, why did the fish bowl break?”

“The water went on the ground.”

“Yes, but why did it break?”

“And the fish died.”


Although she is starting to understand narrative, she doesn’t yet understand “Why?” as a request for causal antecedents. 

She seems to understand it as a kind of general request for whatever pertinent further information she can think of.  And what happened after the bowl broke, in this case, is much more salient than the events leading it up to the event.


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