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  1. David Birdsong (forthcoming). Lindsay Norwood SLA May 5, 2009 Critical Review of Second Language Acquisition and the Critical Period Hypothesis Ed. David Birdsong (1999). [REVIEW] Critical Review.
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  2. Alexander Clark & Shalom Lappin (2013). Complexity in Language Acquisition. Topics in Cognitive Science 5 (1):89-110.
    Learning theory has frequently been applied to language acquisition, but discussion has largely focused on information theoretic problems—in particular on the absence of direct negative evidence. Such arguments typically neglect the probabilistic nature of cognition and learning in general. We argue first that these arguments, and analyses based on them, suffer from a major flaw: they systematically conflate the hypothesis class and the learnable concept class. As a result, they do not allow one to draw significant conclusions about the learner. (...)
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  3. Stephen Crain, Acquisition of Disjunction in Conditional Sentences.
    This study is concerned with the properties of the disjunction operator, or, and the acquisition of these properties by English-speaking children. Previous research has concluded that adult truth conditions for logical connectives are acquired relatively late in the course of language development. With particular reference to disjunction, the results of several studies have led to two claims. First, it has been argued that the full range of truth-conditions associated with inclusive-or is not initially available to children; instead, children are supposed (...)
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  4. Stephen Crain, Children's Command of Negation.
    Poverty -of-stimulus arguments have taken new ground recently, augmented by experimental findings from th e study of child language. In this paper, we briefly review two variants of the poverty-of-stimulus argument that have received empirical support from studies of child language; then we examine a third argument of this kind in more detail. The case under discussion involves the structural notion of c-command as it pertains to children’s interpretation of disjunction in the scope of negation.
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  5. Stephen Crain, It's Not Wise to Fool with Mother Nature.
    Several recent papers propose that child and adult grammars differ in their underlying representations of universal quantification, e.g., “every” in English. These proposals attempt to explain children’s nonadult responses, in certain circumstances, in response to sentences that contain the universal quantifier. Blaming children’s nonadult behavior on their grammars is questionable, however, in view of the restrictiveness of the theory of Universal Grammar, which tightly constrains the hypothesis space children can navigate in the course of language development. The restrictiveness of the (...)
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  6. Stephen Crain, The Acquisition of Disjunction: Evidence for a Grammatical View of Scalar Implicatures.
    This paper investigates young children's knowledge of scalar implicatures and downward entailment. In previous experimental work, we have shown that young children access the full range of truth-conditions associated with logical words in classical logic, including the disjunction operator, as well as the indefinite article. The present study extends this research in three ways, taking disjunction as a case study. Experiment 1 draws upon the observation that scalar implicatures (SIs) are cancelled (or reversed) in downward entailing (DE) linguistic environments, e.g., (...)
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  7. Stephen Crain, The Inclusion of Disjunction in Child Grammar: Evidence From Modal Verbs.
    This study is concerned with the acquisition of the disjunction operator, or, in English. Two mutually inconsistent claims have been made about the acquisition of disjunction. One claim is that the acquisition of the adult truth conditions for logical connectives, including disjunction, is a late and not fully universal, achievement. With particular reference to disjunction, the findings from several studies are interpreted as showing that only the truth conditions associated with exclusive-or are available to young children (e.g., Beilin and Lust (...)
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  8. Andrea Gualmini, Acquisition of Disjunction in Conditional Sentences.
    This study is concerned with the properties of the disjunction operator, or, and the acquisition of these properties by English-speaking children. Previous research has concluded that adult truth conditions for logical connectives are acquired relatively late in the course of language development. With particular reference to disjunction, the results of several studies have led to two claims. First, it has been argued that the full range of truth-conditions associated with inclusive-or is not initially available to children; instead, children are supposed (...)
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  9. Andrea Gualmini, The Inclusion of Disjunction in Child Grammar: Evidence From Modal Verbs.
    This study is concerned with the acquisition of the disjunction operator, or, in English. Two mutually inconsistent claims have been made about the acquisition of disjunction. One claim is that the acquisition of the adult truth conditions for logical connectives, including disjunction, is a late and not fully universal, achievement. With particular reference to disjunction, the findings from several studies are interpreted as showing that only the truth conditions associated with exclusive-or are available to young children (e.g., Beilin and Lust (...)
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  10. Luisa Meronia, At the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface in Child Language.
    This paper investigates scalar implicatures and downward entailment in child English. In previous experimental work we have shown that adults’ computation of scalar implicatures is sensitive to entailment relations. For instance, when the disjunction operator or occurs in positive contexts, an implicature of exclusivity arises. By contrast when the disjunction operator occurs within the scope of a downward entailing linguistic expression, no implicature of exclusivity is computed. Investigations on children’s computation of scalar implicatures in the same contexts have led to (...)
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  11. Luisa Meronib, The Acquisition of Disjunction: Evidence for a Grammatical View of Scalar Implicatures.
    This paper investigates young children's knowledge of scalar implicatures and downward entailment. In previous experimental work, we have shown that young children access the full range of truth-conditions associated with logical words in classical logic, including the disjunction operator, as well as the indefinite article. The present study extends this research in three ways, taking disjunction as a case study. Experiment 1 draws upon the observation that scalar implicatures (SIs) are cancelled (or reversed) in downward entailing (DE) linguistic environments, e.g., (...)
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  12. Johan Modée (2000). Observation Sentences and Joint Attention. Synthese 124 (2):221-238.
    The aim of this paper is to examine W. V.Quine's theory of infants' early acquisition oflanguage, with a narrow focus on Quine's theory ofobservation sentences. Intersubjectivity and sensoryexperiences, the two features that characterise thenotion, receive the most attention. It is argued,following a suggestion from Donald Davidson, thatQuine favours a proximal theory of languageacquisition, i.e., a theory which is focused onprivate experiences as ultimate sources ofstimulation, contrary to a distal theory, where thestimulus source is located in externally observableobjects and events. (...)
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  13. Anna Papafragou, Space and the Language‐Cognition Interface.
    According to classical theories of language and cognition, human cognition is characterized by strong universal commonalities built around notions such as object, space, agency, number, time, and event (Clark, 1973; Miller & Johnson‐Laird, 1976). Languages select from this prelinguistic conceptual repertoire the concepts that become encoded in their lexical and grammatical stock. Language acquisition, on this view, is a mapping process in which the learner needs to figure out which sounds in the language spoken in the environment correspond to which (...)
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  14. Lawrence D. Roberts (2004). The Relation of Children's Early Word Acquisition to Abduction. Foundations of Science 9 (3):307-320.
    The paper discusses how abduction relates tochildren's early acquisition of words, and has three sections: (a) a brief description of Peirce's notion of abduction; (b) a developmentof a hypothesis for the content-related symbolic functioning of words; and (c)arguments that children's knowledge of such functioning involves two kinds of abduction. In (b), children's knowledge of the content-related symbolic functioning of words is argued to consist in practical knowledge ofhow to use words to direct attention to kindsof things. To acquire such knowledge, (...)
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  15. Katherine Yoshida, Mijke Rhemtulla & Athena Vouloumanos (2012). Exclusion Constraints Facilitate Statistical Word Learning. Cognitive Science 36 (5):933-947.
    The roles of linguistic, cognitive, and social-pragmatic processes in word learning are well established. If statistical mechanisms also contribute to word learning, they must interact with these processes; however, there exists little evidence for such mechanistic synergy. Adults use co-occurrence statistics to encode speech–object pairings with detailed sensitivity in stochastic learning environments (Vouloumanos, 2008). Here, we replicate this statistical work with nonspeech sounds and compare the results with the previous speech studies to examine whether exclusion constraints contribute equally to the (...)
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