ERIC Number: ED364069
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
The Role of Linear Order in the Acquisition of Quantifier Scope in Chinese.
Lee, Thomas Hun-tak
CUHK Papers in Linguistics, n1 p18-45 Aug 1989
Assuming the relevance of the linear precedence to the scope interpretation of adult Mandarin, this study investigated the development of this principle in Mandarin-speaking children, with a view to providing a basis for further study of parametric variation. Three kinds of sentences were examined, all of which contained mutually commanding Quantifier Noun Phrases (QNP) that do not c-command each other. The three sentence types also differed with respect to the possibility of scope ambiguity. The findings reveal that quantifier order is distinguished by Chinese children by age 6, and that the linearity principle for scope interpretation is firmly established by age 7. There is also evidence to suggest that if scope ambiguity is entirely due to the operation of the thematic hierarchy, the latter scope interpretation principle is acquired late. Data on "Ba"-sentences also indicate that construction-specific effects related to definiteness may affect subjects' judgment of quantifier scope. (VWL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: For the complete journal, see FL 021 534.