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Title:Do children derive exact meanings pragmatically? Evidence from a dual morphology language
Authors:Marušič, Franc (Author)
Žaucer, Rok (Author)
Saksida, Amanda (Author)
Sullivan, Jessica (Author)
Skordos, Dimitrios (Author)
Wang, Longlong (Author)
Barner, David (Author)
Files:This document has no files. This document may have a phisical copy in the library of the organization, check the status via COBISS. Link is opened in a new window
Language:English
Work type:Not categorized (r6)
Tipology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:UNG - University of Nova Gorica
Abstract:Number words allow us to describe exact quantities like sixty-three and (exactly) one. How do we derive exact interpretations? By some views, these words are lexically exact, and are therefore unlike other grammatical forms in language. Other theories, however, argue that numbers are not special and that their exact interpretation arises from pragmatic enrichment, rather than lexically. For example, the word one may gain its exact interpretation because the presence of the immediate successor two licenses the pragmatic inference that one implies “one, and not two”. To investigate the possible role of pragmatic enrichment in the development of exact representations, we looked outside the test case of number to grammatical morphological markers of quantity. In particular, we asked whether children can derive an exact interpretation of singular noun phrases (e.g., “a button”) when their language features an immediate “successor” that encodes sets of two. To do this, we used a series of tasks to compare English-speaking children who have only singular and plural morphology to Slovenian-speaking children who have singular and plural forms, but also dual morphology, that is used when describing sets of two. Replicating previous work, we found that English-speaking preschoolers failed to enrich their interpretation of the singular and did not treat it as exact. New to the present study, we found that 4- and 5-year-old Slovenian-speakers who comprehended the dual treated the singular form as exact, while younger Slovenian children who were still learning the dual did not, providing evidence that young children may derive exact meanings pragmatically.
Keywords:Acquisition of quantity expressions, Acquisition of exactness, Pragmatics of grammatical number, Inferences on quantity, Dual, Slovenian
Year of publishing:2021
Number of pages:12
Numbering:207
COBISS_ID:42393347 Link is opened in a new window
URN:URN:SI:UNG:REP:LKFWACON
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104527 Link is opened in a new window
License:CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
This work is available under this license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 4.0 International
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:Cognition
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0010-0277
Year of publishing:2021

Document is financed by a project

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (ARRS)
Funding Programme:Cilnji raziskovalni programi
Project no.:P6-0382
Name:Teoretično in eksperimentalno jezikoslovje
Acronym:Teks
Project ID:info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ARRS/Cilnji%20raziskovalni%20programi/P6-0382

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