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ERIC Number: EJ1116600
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1048-9223
Children's Knowledge of Structure-Dependent Semantic Interactions between Logical Words
Johnson, Adrienne; Minai, Utako
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v23 n4 p407-415 2016
The current study examined preschool children's ability to evaluate the entailment patterns yielded by sentences containing two downward entailing (DE) operators, "every" and "no." When "no" precedes "every," the entailment pattern typically licensed by "every" changes, but only if "no" also c-commands "every" in the hierarchical structure of the sentence. While children had been shown to be sensitive to the effect of a preceding "and" c-commanding negation on "every," it had not been shown whether children were sensitive to the c-command relation between these elements or simply to their linear order. We demonstrate that children's evaluation of the entailment patterns engendered by sentences with "no" and "every" makes recourse to hierarchical structural representations. These findings run counter to models positing that young children lack such representations and instead suggest that young children possess both detailed syntactic representations and knowledge of logical operators such as "no" and "every."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A