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ERIC Number: EJ883266
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-0169-0965
Scalar Quantifiers: Logic, Acquisition, and Processing
Geurts, Bart; Katsos, Napoleon; Cummins, Chris; Moons, Jonas; Noordman, Leo
Language and Cognitive Processes, v25 n1 p130-148 2010
Superlative quantifiers ("at least 3", "at most 3") and comparative quantifiers ("more than 2", "fewer than 4") are traditionally taken to be interdefinable: the received view is that "at least n" and "at most n" are equivalent to "more than n-1" and "fewer than n+1", respectively. Notwithstanding the prima facie plausibility of this claim, Geurts and Nouwen (2007) argue that superlative quantifiers have essentially richer meanings than comparative ones. Geurts and Nouwen's theory makes three kinds of predictions that can be tested by experimental means. First, it predicts that superlative and comparative quantifiers should give rise to different patterns of reasoning. Second, the theory leads us to expect that children will master comparative quantifiers before superlative ones. Third, superlative quantifiers should be harder to process than comparative ones. We present three experiments that confirm these predictions. (Contains 7 footnotes and 8 tables.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands; United Kingdom