Publication details [#59753]

Hollebrandse, Bart and Liset Rouweler. 2015. Distributive, collective and “everything” in between. Interpretation of universal quantifiers in child and adult language. Linguistics in the Netherlands 15 : 130–141.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins


This paper studied the interpretation of sentences with the Dutch universal quantifiers alle (all) and elke (each) in collective, distributive and cumulative situations. In the first experiment, 25 adults and 30 children from 5 and 6 years old performed a truth-value judgement task. Adults and children show similar interpretations for collective and distributive, but perform different for cumulative. As a follow-up the paper performed a preference task. Participants gave their preferences for the three situations for both quantifiers. Children, regardless of the quantifier, prefer the distributive situation. Adults have a strong preference for distributive for elke, showing a wider range of interpretation for alle. These data clearly indicate that Dutch children do not yet have acquired the full range of restrictions for the quantifiers alle and elke.