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ERIC Number: EJ912157
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-1048-9223
On the Acquisition of (Hebrew) Compositional Telicity
Hacohen, Aviya
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v18 n1 p84-86 2011
In this study, the author investigates the telic/atelic distinction in adult and child Hebrew. Telicity is defined here in terms of culmination requirements, whereby telic predicates, but not atelic ones, have an inherent culmination point that must be reached in order for the predicate to be true. Motivated by a modular model of language, in which grammar and pragmatics are independent, the author investigates the individual and combined contributions of these modules to telicity. The author shows that in adult language, the properties of the direct object--in particular, whether it is a mass or a count noun and/or whether it is definite--play a major role in determining the telicity value of the predicate. More specifically, predicates with a quantized, or bounded, direct object argument are generally interpreted as being telic, whereas a nonquantized direct object typically results in an atelic reading of the predicate. Nonetheless, despite the crucial role played by the direct object, the author argues that telicity in adult language is ultimately derived through a pragmatic process of implicature (following Hay, Kennedy & Levin 1999). This explains the often observed inter- and intraspeaker variability.
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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