Chapter published in:L1 Acquisition and L2 Learning: The view from Romance
Edited by Larisa Avram, Anca Sevcenco and Veronica Tomescu
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 65] 2021
► pp. 316–330
The acquisition of disjunction under negation and recursive ni in French
Pagliarini, Crain, & Guasti (2018) showed that children acquiring Italian start to attribute a “neither” interpretation to negative disjunctive sentences, but converge to the adult “at least one” interpretation earlier than children acquiring Japanese or Mandarin. This earlier convergence is attributed to the already adult interpretation of a lexical form that expresses the “neither” interpretation unambiguously (recursive né). We further test this proposal with French negated disjunctive sentences, where a similar lexical form (recursive ni) is available, but with different properties than in Italian. We conclude that, for an earlier convergence to the adult interpretation of OR under negation, what matters is the availability of a minimal pair of expressions and not just of an expression that conveys the “neither” meaning.
Keywords: disjunction, negation, scope, negative concord, child French
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World Medical Association