1932

Abstract

Explaining children's nonadult interpretations of sentences with quantifiers has been the objective of extensive research for more than 50 years. This article reviews four areas of research, each of which began with the observation that children and adults respond differently to sentences with quantifiers. The observed differences have been subject to considerable debate, often drawing upon linguistic theory for answers and sometimes resulting in changes to the theory. This article begins by discussing children's comprehension of sentences with pronouns with quantificational versus referential antecedents. The next topic is children's nonadult responses to sentences with quantifiers and negation. The third topic is children's analysis of scope phenomena. I conclude with a discussion of children's understanding of the focus adverb , which is used to expose some common properties of historically distinct languages. Progress in each of these four areas has revealed children's deep understanding of the basic meanings of quantifiers and how quantifiers interact with other logical expressions. I conclude that children's nonadult interpretations of quantifiers are consistent with the theory of Universal Grammar.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-linguistics-011516-033930
2017-01-14
2024-06-16
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/linguistics/3/1/annurev-linguistics-011516-033930.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-linguistics-011516-033930&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Literature Cited

  1. Atlas JD. 1993. The importance of being only: testing the neo-Gricean versus neo-entailment paradigms. J. Semant. 10:301–18 [Google Scholar]
  2. Beaver D, Clark B. 2003. Always and only: why not all focus-sensitive operators are alike. Nat. Lang. Semant. 11:323–62 [Google Scholar]
  3. Buring D. 2005. Binding Theory Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  4. Chien Y-C, Wexler K. 1990. Children's knowledge of locality conditions in binding as evidence for the modularity of syntax and pragmatics. Lang. Acquis. 1:225–95 [Google Scholar]
  5. Chierchia G. 2013. Logic in Grammar: Polarity, Free Choice and Intervention Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  6. Chomsky N. 1981. Lectures on Government and Binding Dordrecht, Neth.: Foris [Google Scholar]
  7. Chomsky N. 1986. Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin and Use New York: Praeger [Google Scholar]
  8. Conroy A, Takahashi E, Lidz J, Phillips C. 2009. Equal treatment for all antecedents: how children succeed with Principle B. Linguist. Inq. 45:206–37 [Google Scholar]
  9. Crain S. 2012. The Emergence of Meaning Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  10. Crain S. 2013. What's parsing got to do with it?. Linguist. Approaches Biling. 3:301–7 [Google Scholar]
  11. Crain S, McKee C. 1985. The acquisition of structural restrictions on anaphora. Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the North East Linguistics Society S Berman, J Choe, J McDonough 94–110 Amherst, MA: Grad. Linguist. Stud. Assoc. [Google Scholar]
  12. Crain S, Goro T, Minai U. 2007. Hidden units in child language. Mental States: Nature, Function and Evolution A Schalley, D Khlentzos 275–94 Amsterdam: Benjamins [Google Scholar]
  13. Crain S, Meroni L, Minai U. 2004. If everybody knows, then every child knows. Proceedings of Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition 2003 J van Kampen, S Baauw 127–38 Utrecht, Neth.: LOT [Google Scholar]
  14. Crain S, Ni WJ, Conway L. 1994. Learning, parsing and modularity. Perspectives on Sentence Processing C Clifton Jr., L Frazier, K Rayner 335–56 Dordrecht, Neth: Reidel [Google Scholar]
  15. Crain S, Philip W, Drozd K, Roper T, Matsuoka K. 1992. Only in child language Unpubl. ms., Univ. Conn./Univ. Mass., Amherst [Google Scholar]
  16. Crain S, Thornton RJ. 1998. Investigations in Universal Grammar: A Guide to Experiments on the Acquisition of Syntax and Semantics Cambridge, MA: MIT Press [Google Scholar]
  17. Crain S, Thornton RJ. 2015. Third year grammar. MIT Work. Pap. Linguist. 77:71–84 [Google Scholar]
  18. Crain S, Thornton RJ, Boster C, Conway L, Lillo-Martin D, Woodams E. 1996. Quantification without qualification. Lang. Acquis. 1:83–153 [Google Scholar]
  19. Drozd K. 1996. Quantifier interpretation errors as errors of distributive scope. Proceedings of the 20th Boston University Conference on Language Development A Stringfellow, D Cahana-Amitay, E Hughes, A Zukowski 177–88 Somerville, MA: Cascadilla [Google Scholar]
  20. Drozd K, van Loosbroek E. 1999. Weak quantification, plausible dissent, and the development of children's pragmatic competence. Proceedings of the 23rd Boston University Conference on Language Development A Greenhill, H Littlefield, C Tano 184–95 Somerville, MA: Cascadilla [Google Scholar]
  21. Elbourne P. 2005. On the acquisition of Principle B. Linguist. Inq. 36:333–65 [Google Scholar]
  22. Freeman NH, Sinha CG, Stedmon JA. 1982. All the cars—which cars? From word meaning to discourse processes. Children Thinking Through Language M. Beveridge 52–74 London: Arnold [Google Scholar]
  23. Geurts B. 2004. Quantifying kids. Lang. Acquis. 11:197–218 [Google Scholar]
  24. Goro T. 2004. The emergence of Universal Grammar in the emergence of language: the acquisition of Japanese logical connectives and positive polarity PhD thesis, Dep. Linguist., Univ. Md., College Park [Google Scholar]
  25. Goro T, Akiba S. 2004a. The acquisition of disjunction and positive polarity in Japanese. Proceedings of the 23rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics V Chand, A Kelleher, AJ Rodriguez, B Schmeiser 251–64 Somerville, MA: Cascadilla [Google Scholar]
  26. Goro T, Akiba S. 2004b. Japanese disjunction and the acquisition of positive polarity. Proceedings of the 5th Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics Y Otsu 137–62 Tokyo: Hitsuji Shobo [Google Scholar]
  27. Goro T, Minai U, Crain S. 2005. Two disjunctions for the price of only one. Proceedings of the 29th Boston University Conference on Child Language Development A Brugos, MR Clark-Cotton, S Ha 228–39 Somerville, MA: Cascadilla [Google Scholar]
  28. Grodzinsky Y, Reinhart T. 1993. The innateness of binding and the development of coreference: a reply to Grimshaw and Rosen. Linguist. Inq. 24:69–103 [Google Scholar]
  29. Gualmini A. 2003. The ups and downs of child language PhD thesis, Dep. Linguist., Univ. Md., College Park [Google Scholar]
  30. Gualmini A, Meroni L, Crain S. 2003. Children's asymmetrical responses. Proceedings of the 4th Tokyo Conference of Psycholinguistics Y Otsu 135–58 Tokyo: Hitsuji Shobo [Google Scholar]
  31. Haegeman L. 1994. Introduction to Government and Binding Theory Cambridge, MA: Blackwell [Google Scholar]
  32. Herburger E. 2000. What Counts: Focus and Quantification Cambridge, MA: MIT Press [Google Scholar]
  33. Higginbotham J. 1991. Either/or. Proceedings of the 21st Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society143–55 Amherst, MA: Grad. Linguist. Stud. Assoc. [Google Scholar]
  34. Horn LR. 1969. A presuppositional approach to only and even. Proceedings of the 5th Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society98–107 Chicago: Univ. Chicago [Google Scholar]
  35. Horn LR. 2002. Assertoric inertia and NPI licensing. Proceedings of the 38th Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society55–82 Chicago: Univ. Chicago [Google Scholar]
  36. Iatridou S. 1996. To have or have not: on the deconstruction approach. Proceedings of the 14th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics J Camacho, L Choueiri, M Watanabe 185–202 Stanford, CA: Cent. Study Lang. Inf. [Google Scholar]
  37. Inhelder B, Piaget J. 1964. Early Growth of Logic in the Child: Classification and Seriation London: Routledge/Kegan Paul [Google Scholar]
  38. Lee TH-T. 1991. Linearity as a scope principle for Chinese: the evidence from first language acquisition. Bridges Between Psychology and Linguistics: A Swarthmore Festschrift for Lila Gleitman DJ Napoli, JA Kegl 183–206 Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum [Google Scholar]
  39. Lee TH-T. 2003. Two types of logical structure in child language. J. Cogn. Sci. 3:155–82 [Google Scholar]
  40. Ludlow P. 2002. LF and natural logic. Logical Form and Language G Preyer, G Peter 132–68 Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  41. Matthews D, Lieven E, Theakston A, Tomasello M. 2009. Pronoun co-referencing errors: challenges for generativist and usage-based accounts. Cogn. Linguist. 20:599–626 [Google Scholar]
  42. Meroni L, Gualmini A, Crain S. 2004. Definiteness in child language. Proceedings of the 23rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics V Chand, A Kelleher, A Rodríguez, B Schmeiser 583–94 Somerville, MA: Cascadilla [Google Scholar]
  43. Milsark GL. 1974. Existential sentences in English PhD thesis, Dep. Foreign Lit. Linguist., MIT, Cambridge, MA [Google Scholar]
  44. Milsark GL. 1977. Toward an explanation of certain peculiarities of the existential construction in English. Linguist. Anal. 3:1–29 [Google Scholar]
  45. Minai U, Goro T, Crain S. 2006. Covert downward entailment in child English and Japanese. Proceedings of the Inaugural Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition, North America KU Deen, J Nomura, BD Schwarz 217–28 Cambridge, MA: MIT Work. Pap. Linguist. [Google Scholar]
  46. Moscati V, Crain S. 2014. When negation and epistemic modality combine: the role of information strength in child language. Lang. Learn. Dev. 10:345–80 [Google Scholar]
  47. Musolino J. 1998. Universal Grammar and the acquisition of semantic knowledge: an experimental investigation into the acquisition of quantifier–negation interaction in English PhD thesis, Dep. Linguist., Univ. Md., College Park [Google Scholar]
  48. Notley A, Thornton RJ, Crain S. 2012. English-speaking children's interpretation of disjunction in the scope of ‘not every’. Biolinguistics 6:32–69 [Google Scholar]
  49. Notley A, Zhou P, Thornton RJ, Crain S. 2009. Children's interpretation of focus expressions in English and Mandarin. Lang. Acquis. 16:240–82 [Google Scholar]
  50. O'Leary C, Crain S. 1994. Negative polarity (a positive result) and positive polarity (a negative result) Presented at Boston Univ. Conf. Child Lang. Dev., 18th, Boston, MA [Google Scholar]
  51. Partee B, ter Meulen A, Wall R. 1990. Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy 30 Mathematical Methods in Linguistics Dordrecht, Neth.: Kluwer Acad. [Google Scholar]
  52. Paterson KB, Liversedge SP, Rowland C, Filik R. 2003. Children's comprehension of sentences with focus particles. Cognition 89:263–94 [Google Scholar]
  53. Philip W. 1995. Event quantification in the acquisition of universal quantification PhD thesis, Dep. Linguist., Univ. Mass., Amherst [Google Scholar]
  54. Philip W, Coopmans P. 1996. The double Dutch delay of Principle B effect. Proceedings of the 20th Boston Conference on Child Language Development A Stringfellow, D Cahana-Amitay, E Hughes, A Zukowski 576–87 Somerville, MA: Cascadilla [Google Scholar]
  55. Philip W, Lynch E. 2000. Felicity, relevance, and acquisition of the grammar of every and only. Proceedings of the 24th Boston Conference on Child Language Development SC Howell, SA Fish, T Keith-Lucas 583–96 Somerville, MA: Cascadilla [Google Scholar]
  56. Reinhart T. 1983. Anaphora and Semantic Interpretation Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press [Google Scholar]
  57. Reuland E, Everaert M. 2003. Deconstructing binding. The Handbook of Contemporary Syntactic Theory M Baltin, C Collins 634–69 Malden, MA: Blackwell [Google Scholar]
  58. Roeper T, de Villiers J. 1991. The emergence of bound variable structures. University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers: Papers in the Acquisition of WH T Maxfield, B Plunkett 225–66 Amherst, MA: Grad. Linguist. Stud. Assoc. [Google Scholar]
  59. Rooth M. 1996. Focus. The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory S. Lappin 271–97 Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell [Google Scholar]
  60. Su Y, Crain S. 2013. Children's knowledge of disjunction and universal quantification in Mandarin Chinese. Lang. Linguist. 14:599–631 [Google Scholar]
  61. Szabolcsi A. 2002. Hungarian disjunctions and positive polarity. Approaches to Hungarian I Kenesei, P Siptar 8217–41 Budapest: Akad. Kiado [Google Scholar]
  62. Szabolcsi A. 2004. Positive polarity—negative polarity. Nat. Lang. Linguist. Theory 22:409–52 [Google Scholar]
  63. Takahashi M. 1991. Children's interpretation of sentences containing every. University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers: Papers in the Acquisition of WH T Maxfield, B Plunkett 303–28 Amherst, MA: Grad. Linguist. Stud. Assoc. [Google Scholar]
  64. Thornton RJ. 1990. Adventures in long-distance moving: the acquisition of complex wh-questions PhD thesis, Dep. Linguist., Univ. Conn., Storrs [Google Scholar]
  65. Thornton RJ, Kiguchi H, D'Onofrio E. 2016. Clefts and reconstruction in English-speaking children's grammars. Proceedings of the 40th Boston University Conference on Child Language Development Somerville, MA: Cascadilla [Google Scholar]
  66. Thornton RJ, Wexler K. 1999. Principle B, VP Ellipsis, and Interpretation in Child Grammar Cambridge, MA: MIT Press [Google Scholar]
  67. von Fintel K. 1999. NPI licensing, Strawson entailment, and context dependency. J. Semant. 16:97–148 [Google Scholar]
  68. Zhou P, Crain S. 2010. Focus identification in child Mandarin. J. Child Lang. 37:965–1005 [Google Scholar]
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-linguistics-011516-033930
Loading
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-linguistics-011516-033930
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error