Thirty-three children aged 3–5 were tested for comprehension of definite and bare noun (BN) contrasts in Catalan, a language with bare nouns in direct object but not in subject position. Catalan objects have the same semantics as English subjects: BNs map to generic and definites into specific referents. Global semantic parameters cannot explain the contrast in this type of language. The test of Catalan sentences equivalent to She needs shoes/She needs the shoes showed no discrimination at 3 and sensitivity by 4 .We argue under an economy approach that BNs have a default generic reading that can be shifted into an ‘instance-of-a-kind’ interpretation. Acquisition is driven by a principle of semantic contrast that restricts the initial overextension of BNs to specificreadings.
2012. Specific and generic subjects in the Italian of German–Italian simultaneous bilinguals and L2 learners. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 15:4 ► pp. 736 ff.
Kupisch, Tanja & Marc-Olivier Hinzelin
Roberta D’Alessandro / Adam Ledgeway / Ian Roberts (edd.),
Syntactic Variation. The Dialects of Italy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2010, XVI + 351 p.. zrph 129:4 ► pp. 1148 ff.
Morales Reyes, Alexandra & Begoña Arechabaleta Regulez
2020. Interpretación de los determinantes definidos y demostrativos por niños hispanohablantes. Estudios de Lingüística Aplicada :69 ► pp. 167 ff.
Pérez-Leroux, Ana T., Anna Gavarró Algueró & Thomas Roeper
2011. Language typology and the acquisition of bare noun/DP contrasts. Canadian Journal of Linguistics/Revue canadienne de linguistique 56:3 ► pp. 413 ff.
PÉREZ-LEROUX, ANA T., MIHAELA PIRVULESCU & YVES ROBERGE
2009. Bilingualism as a window into the language faculty: The acquisition of objects in French-speaking children in bilingual and monolingual contexts. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 12:1 ► pp. 97 ff.
Redolfi, Michela, Sergio Miguel Pereira Soares, Anna Czypionka & Tanja Kupisch
2021. Experimental evidence for the interpretation of definite plural articles as markers of genericity – How Italian can help. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 6:1
2009. Bilingual children's sensitivity to specificity and genericity: Evidence from metalinguistic awareness. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 12:2 ► pp. 239 ff.
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