Preschoolers' interpretation of doubly quantified sentences

É. Kiss, Katalin and Gerőcs, Mátyás and Zétényi, Tamás (2013) Preschoolers' interpretation of doubly quantified sentences. ACTA LINGUISTICA HUNGARICA, 60. pp. 143-172. ISSN 1216-8076

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This paper presents the results of two sentence–picture matching experiments investigating how Hungarian preschoolers interpret doubly quantified sentences involving numerical quantifiers. We claim that for Hungarian children, scope interpretation is primarily determined by the structure of the visual representation of the event associated with the given sentence. We found in a series of previous experiments that children’s preferred scope order cannot be derived from either the linear order of quantifiers, or from any other linguistic factor, but seems to be affected by visual cues provided by the picture stimuli. In this follow-up study, we tested two hypotheses, namely: (i) children assign wide scope to the set whose elements are more salient in the visual representation; (ii) children choose the scope interpretation whose visual representation is easier to chunk into identical subevents. The results confirm hypothesis (ii). This converges with the results of former experiments testing children’s interpretation of every and each, according to which children use these quantifiers to quantify over events rather than individuals (cf. Philip 1995, etc.).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom > P0 Philology. Linguistics / filológia, nyelvészet
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2013 13:31
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2013 13:31

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