Developmental aspects of Maximize Presupposition : a view from SlovenianPenka Stateva
, 2021, published scientific conference contribution abstract (invited lecture)
Abstract: In this talk I present the results of an experimental study of young children's acquisition and use of the principle Maximize Presupposition (MP) in the context of the propositional attitude predicates (equivalent to) know and think. MP operates in the domain of pragmatics in order to distinguish among semantically equivalent propositions which have different presuppositional load in a given context (Heim 1991, Sauerland 2008). Given its nature, demonstrating a speaker’s sensitivity to MP is contingent on knowledge about presuppositional content within a relevant set of alternatives. We use a felicity judgement task to test the ability of 5- and 7-year-old Slovenian-speaking children to derive the factive presupposition of know and the pragmatic inference trigerred by think in accord with MP. The older group of children outperformed the younger group in both conditions manifesting a ceiling performance, while the younger group showed a more mixed pattern. Our results suggest that the anti-factivity inference is mastered on a par with the ability to derive the presupposition of factivity, as predicted by contemporary pragmatic theories. The discussion will also include questions about the influence of bilingualism on developing pragmatic abilities, negative transfer in the domain of pragmatics and its dependence on cross-linguistic morpho-syntactic variation among translational equivalents.
Keywords: Maximize Presupposition, implicated presupposition, early bilingualism, language acquisition, attitude verb
Published in RUNG: 15.09.2021; Views: 1576; Downloads: 48
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