12 found
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  1. Brass Tacks in Linguistic Theory: Innate Grammatical Principles.Stephen Grain, Andrea Gualmini & Paul Pietroski - 2005 - In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen P. Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents. New York: Oxford University Press New York. pp. 1--175.
    In the normal course of events, children manifest linguistic competence equivalent to that of adults in just a few years. Children can produce and understand novel sentences, they can judge that certain strings of words are true or false, and so on. Yet experience appears to dramatically underdetermine the com- petence children so rapidly achieve, even given optimistic assumptions about children’s nonlinguistic capacities to extract information and form generalizations on the basis of statistical regularities in the input. These considerations underlie (...)
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  2.  20
    The Question–Answer Requirement for Scope Assignment.Andrea Gualmini, Sarah Hulsey, Valentine Hacquard & Danny Fox - 2008 - Natural Language Semantics 16 (3):205-237.
    This paper focuses on children’s interpretation of sentences containing negation and a quantifier (e.g., The detective didn’t find some guys). Recent studies suggest that, although children are capable of accessing inverse scope interpretations of such sentences, they resort to surface scope to a larger extent than adults. To account for children’s behavioral pattern, we propose a new factor at play in Truth Value Judgment tasks: the Question–Answer Requirement (QAR). According to the QAR, children (and adults) must interpret the target sentence (...)
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  3.  22
    Hey Little Sister, Who's the Only One? Modulating Informativeness in the Resolution of Privative Ambiguity.Francesca Foppolo, Marco Marelli, Luisa Meroni & Andrea Gualmini - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (7):1646-1674.
    We present two eye-tracking experiments on the interpretation of sentences like “The tall girl is the only one that …,” which are ambiguous between the anaphoric and the exophoric interpretation. These interpretations differ in informativeness: in a positive context, the exophoric reading entails the anaphoric, while in a negative context the entailment pattern is reversed and the anaphoric reading is the strongest one. We tested whether adults rely on considerations about informativeness in solving the ambiguity. The results show that participants (...)
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  4.  3
    The Structure of Children's Linguistic Knowledge.Andrea Gualmini & Stephen Crain - unknown
  5. Acquisition of Disjunction in Conditional Sentences.Andrea Gualmini - unknown
    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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  6. Why No Child or Adult Must Learn De Morgan's Laws.Andrea Gualmini & Stephen Crain - unknown
    Much recent research on child language has been inspired by linguistic principles uncovered by linguists working in the generative framework. Developmental psycholinguists have demonstrated young children’s mastery of a variety of linguistic principles; mostly syntactic principles, but also some semantic principles. The present paper contributes to research on the acquisition of semantics by presenting the findings of a new experiment designed to investigate young children’s knowledge of downward entailment, which is a basic semantic property of Universal Grammar. Section 2 describes (...)
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  7. Children's Insensitivity to Contrastive Stress in Sentences with ONLY.Andrea Gualmini, Stephen Crain & Simona Maciukaite - unknown
    This paper investigates the interaction of prosodic information and discourse principles in child language, taking sentences with the focus operator only as a case study. For adults, prosodic information alone can influence the truthconditional interpretation of (otherwise) ambiguous sentences. However, the findings of two experiments demonstrate that children are not able to use prosodic information alone to resolve certain ambiguities involving the focus operator only. The next section reviews the semantic properties of the focus operator only. Then we review the (...)
     
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  8. The Inclusion of Disjunction in Child Grammar: Evidence From Modal Verbs.Andrea Gualmini - unknown
    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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  9. Children's Asymmetrical Responses.Andrea Gualmini & Stephen Crain - unknown
    In this paper, we discuss the findings of two case studies of children’s semantic competence using sentences that contain the universal quantifier every. Children’s understanding of universal quantification, or lack of it, is probably the most controversial topic in current research on young children’s semantic competence. Even among researchers who draw upon linguistic theory in their investigations of child language, there seems to be a general consensus that preschool and even school-age children make ‘errors’ in interpreting sentences with the universal (...)
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  10. How Adults and Children Manage Stress in Ambiguous Contexts.Silvia Gennari, Andrea Gualmini & Luisa Meroni - unknown
    This paper investigates the influence of contrastive stress in resolving potential semantic ambiguities. The sentences under investigation contain the focus operator only. Sentences with only have three main properties: (a) some sentential element is typically in focus, (b) the speaker presupposes that a set of alternatives to the focus element (the contrast set) has previously been introduced in the context; and (c) the speaker makes the assertion that the focus element has some unique property which other members of the reference (...)
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  11.  14
    Everybody Knows.Andrea Gualmini, Stephen Crain & Luisa Meroni - unknown
    Much current research is devoted to children’s non-adult responses to sentences containing the universal quantifier every. In this chapter we review two alternative views: one that attributes children’s responses to nonadult grammars and one that focuses on extra-linguistic factors to explain children’s non-adult responses. We argue that the grammatical view faces several theoretical concerns, and, in light of research experimental findings, we demonstrate that it also suffers from limited explanatory power.
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  12.  4
    Parsing, Grammar, and the Challenge of Raising Children at LF.Julien Musolino & Andrea Gualmini - 2011 - In Edward Gibson & Neal J. Pearlmutter (eds.), The Processing and Acquisition of Reference. MIT Press. pp. 109.
    This chapter explores parsing and grammar in children, with an emphasis on how children resolve sentences with ambiguous scope. It focuses on an ambiguity involving the universal quantifier every in subject position along with a negated main predicate, as in the sentence “Every horse didn’t jump over the fence.” One interpretation of this sentence is the “surface-scope” interpretation, which views the expression every horse as a reference to all the horses in the set; thus, each horse in the set did (...)
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