Chapter published in:Semantics in Language Acquisition
Edited by Kristen Syrett and Sudha Arunachalam
[Trends in Language Acquisition Research 24] 2018
► pp. 302–324
Developmental insights into gappy phenomena
Comparing presupposition, implicature, homogeneity, and vagueness
Lyn Tieu | Western Sydney University | Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University
Cory Bill | Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University
Jérémy Zehr | University of Pennsylvania
Jacopo Romoli | Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University | Ulster University
Florian Schwarz | University of Pennsylvania
In natural language, we encounter various sentence types that, under certain circumstances, are evaluated as neither true nor false. For instance, it is intuitively difficult to assess the truth value of a sentence whose presupposition is not satisfied in the context. A common theoretical approach is to characterize the status of such sentences with a third value of one kind or another. In this chapter, we consider children’s acquisition of four linguistic phenomena that can give rise to ‘gappy’ judgments that correspond neither to True nor False: scalar implicature, presupposition, homogeneity, and vagueness. We discuss how young children’s interpretations of such sentences can provide insight into how these phenomena should be treated within semantic theories.
Keywords: scalar implicature, presupposition, homogeneity, vagueness, truth value gaps
Published online: 02 August 2018
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