Chapter published in:Three Streams of Generative Language Acquisition Research: Selected papers from the 7th Meeting of Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition – North America, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Edited by Tania Ionin and Matthew Rispoli
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 63] 2019
► pp. 125–142
When OR is conjunctive in child Mandarin
According to a recent proposal, children license a conjunctive inference for statements with disjunction even without a licensing expression that adults require, e.g., the deontic modal verb is allowed to (Singh, Wexler, Astle, Kamawar, & Fox, 2016; Tieu et al., 2017). However, the rates of children’s conjunctive inferences vary considerably across studies, which may be due to the different experimental tasks and materials. Using a Truth Value Judgment Task (Crain & Thornton, 1998), the present study systematically investigated children’s interpretation of disjunctive sentences with and without a deontic modal verb. It was found that children computed conjunctive inferences only in sentences with the deontic modal verb. We discuss the possible reasons for the varying findings of children’s interpretation of disjunction in previous studies.
Keywords: free choice inferences, disjunction, child language acquisition
Published online: 15 April 2019
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