The Interpretation of Disjunction in the Scope of Dou in Child Mandarin

Frontiers in Psychology 11 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

A recent theory provides a unified cross-linguistic analysis of the interpretations that are assigned to expressions for disjunction, Negative Polarity Items, Free Choice Items, and the non-interrogative uses of wh-phrases in languages such as Mandarin Chinese. If this approach is on the right track, children should be expected to demonstrate similar patterns in the acquisition of these linguistic expressions. Previous research has found that, by age four, children have acquired the knowledge that both the existential indefinite renhe “any” and wh-words in Mandarin Chinese are interpreted as Negative Polarity Items when they are bound by downward entailing operators, but the same expressions are interpreted as Free Choice Items when they are bound by deontic modals or by the Mandarin adverbial quantifier dou “all”. The present study extends this line of research to the Mandarin disjunction word huozhe. A Truth Value Judgment Task was used to investigate the possibility that disjunction phrases that are bound by the adverbial quantifier dou generate a conjunctive interpretation in the grammars of Mandarin-speaking 4-year-old children. The findings confirmed this prediction. We discuss the implications of the findings for linguistic theory and for language learnability.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,998

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The logic instinct.Stephen Crain & Drew Khlentzos - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (1):30-65.
Compositionality in Plant Fixed Expressions.Sebastian Meier, Chinfa Lien & Shelley Ching-yu Hsieh - 2005 - In Gerhard Schurz, Edouard Machery & Markus Werning (eds.), Applications to Linguistics, Psychology and Neuroscience. De Gruyter. pp. 107-312.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-01-11

Downloads
26 (#611,575)

6 months
11 (#238,333)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Peng Zhou
University of Bologna

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Linguistics in Philosophy.Zeno Vendler - 1967 - Ithaca, N.Y.,: Cornell University Press.
Free Choice Disjunction and Epistemic Possibility.Thomas Ede Zimmermann - 2000 - Natural Language Semantics 8 (4):255-290.
Entertaining alternatives: Disjunctions as modals.Bart Geurts - 2005 - Natural Language Semantics 13 (4):383-410.
Negative polarity and grammatical representation.Marcia C. Linebarger - 1987 - Linguistics and Philosophy 10 (3):325 - 387.
Any as inherently modal.Veneeta Dayal - 1998 - Linguistics and Philosophy 21 (5):433-476.

View all 7 references / Add more references