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ERIC Number: EJ893613
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1048-9223
The Role of the Focus Operator "Only" in Children's Computation of Sentence Meaning
Minai, Utako; Fiorentino, Robert
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v17 n3 p183-190 2010
Research on children's computation of meanings involving the focus operator "only" has provided an equivocal conclusion as to whether children's semantic representation of "only" is adult-like. The present study discusses the importance of assessing children's knowledge about "only" in light of its semantic interaction with other logical words in a sentence. The meaning of "only" involves two components, each of which affects the interpretation of another logical word, such as the scalar term "some", in a sentence containing "only". Demonstrating that young children are sensitive to the interaction among "only" and "some" would suggest that children possess adult-like knowledge of the lexical semantics of "only". We report a new experiment that examines children's interpretation of sentences involving "only" and "some", revealing that children indeed do not ignore the contribution of "only" when interpreting sentences with "only" and "some". (Contains 2 tables and 4 footnotes.)
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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A