Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Oxford Handbook of Corpus Phonology

Edited by Jacques Durand, Ulrike Gut, and Gjert Kristoffersen

Offers the first detailed examination of corpus phonology and serves as a practical guide for researchers interested in compiling or using phonological corpora


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

The Languages of the Jews: A Sociolinguistic History

By Bernard Spolsky

A vivid commentary on Jewish survival and Jewish speech communities that will be enjoyed by the general reader, and is essential reading for students and researchers interested in the study of Middle Eastern languages, Jewish studies, and sociolinguistics.


New from Brill!

ad

Indo-European Linguistics

New Open Access journal on Indo-European Linguistics is now available!


Academic Paper


Title: Children's interpretation of disjunction in the scope of ‘before’: a comparison of English and Mandarin
Author: Anna Notley
Institution: Macquarie University
Author: Peng Zhou
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/members/profile.html?memberID=222
Institution: Macquarie University
Author: Britta Jensen
Institution: Macquarie University
Author: Stephen Crain
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/members/profile.html?memberID=55
Institution: Macquarie University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
English
Abstract: This study investigates three- to five-year-old children's interpretation of disjunction in sentences like ‘The dog reached the finish line before the turtle or the bunny’. English disjunction has a conjunctive interpretation in such sentences (‘The dog reached the finish line before the turtle before the bunny’). This interpretation conforms with classical logic. Mandarin disjunction (‘huozhe’) can take scope over ‘before’ (‘zai … zhiqian’), so the same sentence can mean ‘The dog reached the finish line before the turtle before the bunny (I don't know which)’. If children are guided by adult input in the acquisition of sentence meanings, English- and Mandarin-speaking children should assign different interpretations to such sentences. If children are guided by logical principles, then children acquiring either language should initially assign the conjunctive interpretation of disjunction. A truth-value judgment task was used to test this prediction and English- and Mandarin-speaking children were found to behave similarly.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 39, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site .



Back
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page