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ERIC Number: ED523568
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 197
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-9781-1
Scope Interpretation in First and Second Language Acquisition: Numeral Quantifiers and Negation
Kwak, Hye-Young
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawai'I at Manoa
The present study investigates the interpretation of scopally ambiguous sentences containing a numeral quantifier and negation, such as (1) and (2), with a view to examining the interpretive preferences for Korean manifested by Korean-speaking children and adults, and the interpretive preferences for English manifested by Korean-speaking second language learners. (1) Korean Dora-ka cokay-lul twu kay an cwu-wess-ta. Dora-NOM seashell-ACC two CL NEG pick up-PST-DECL "Dora didn't pick up two seashells." (2) English (a) Tom didn't cut down two apple trees. (b) Two cooks didn't taste the soup. The results from experiments on L1 Korean reveal that Korean-speaking children strongly prefer to assign the wide scope reading (i.e., the "two greater than not" interpretation) to numerically quantified NP patterns in object position in sentences containing short-form negation. Korean-speaking adults also display a preference for the "two greater than not" interpretation, but they tend to access the narrow scope reading of the NP patterns (i.e., the "not greater than" two interpretation) more frequently than children do. The results also show that Korean-speaking children do not simply lack the "not greater than two" interpretation but accept the interpretation more frequently when the test sentences are preceded by affirmative sentences carrying contrastive information that creates a context for denial. The results from experiments on L2 English show that in interpreting negative sentences containing numerically quantified subject NPs, second language learners resemble native adult speakers of English in preferring the "two greater than not" interpretation. However, in the case of numerically quantified object NPs, they tend to accept the "two greater than not" interpretation more frequently, in contrast to English native speakers, who do not show clear preferences. The results also show that in neither case do low and high proficiency groups show any differences in their interpretive preferences in English. The interpretive preferences manifested in L1 Korean and L2 English are discussed in the framework of O'Grady's (2006, 2008) processor-based approach, which accounts for scope phenomena by reference to the importance of minimizing the burden on working memory in the courses of processing. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A