An Asymmetric Universal in Child Language
||5.0 (1 WK096)
||Oct 28, 2008|
This is a Ph.D. research paper for advanced graduate students only.
ABSTRACT: Investigations of sentences with the universal quantifier every have led to qualitatively different conclusions about children's linguistic knowledge. The aim of this paper is to investigate the extent to which children know the semantics of the universal quantifier every. A Truth Value Judgment task was conducted to determine whether young children know that the two arguments of the universal quantifier ‘every’ differ in that only the restrictor, and not the nuclear scope, is downward entailing. Taken together with previous research, the experimental findings suggest that children’s knowledge of the universal quantifier every runs deep, and includes the asymmetry in interpretation between the restrictor and the nuclear scope. The findings challenge recent claims that children lack knowledge of quantification.