Article published in:Hispanic Child Languages: Typical and impaired development
Edited by John Grinstead
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 50] 2009
► pp. 93–116
Context and the Scalar Implicatures of Indefinites in Child Spanish
In this chapter we review current work on the semantics-pragmatics interface in the adult language and present a description, from earlier work, of the distinct distribution and properties of two Spanish indefinite determiners: unos and algunos. We evaluate the degree to which current theories are able to accommodate these properties and then present the results of two experiments measuring monolingual child Spanish-speakers’ interpretations of them. The experiments show that children are adult-like in their ability to generate implicatures with algunos and cancel them in downward entailing contexts and that they are also aware that there is no implicature generated by unos, despite the similarity of the set interpretations associated with it and those associated with algunos. These findings demonstrate that children are able to surmount considerable learnability obstacles and that, at the age of 5, they have as much access to the logical interpretations of existential quantifiers as they do to their pragmatically-enriched, “some, but not all” interpretation.
Published online: 22 October 2009
Cited by 4 other publications
Grinstead, John, Ramón Padilla-Reyes & Melissa Nieves-Rivera
Miller, David, David Giancaspro, Michael Iverson, Jason Rothman & Roumyana Slabakova
Miller, David & Jason Rothman
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