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Syrett, Kristen; Musolino, Julien – Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, 2016
The way in which an event is packaged linguistically can be informative about the number of participants in the event and the nature of their participation. At times, however, a sentence is ambiguous, and pragmatic information weighs in to favor one interpretation over another. Whereas adults may readily know how to pick up on such cues to…
Descriptors: Semantics, Pragmatics, Child Language, Ambiguity (Semantics)
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Syrett, Kristen; Musolino, Julien – Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, 2013
Sentences containing plural numerical expressions (e.g., "two boys") can give rise to two interpretations (collective and distributive), arising from the fact that their representation admits of a part-whole structure. We present the results of a series of experiments designed to explore children's understanding of this distinction…
Descriptors: Language Acquisition, Comprehension, Child Language, Preschool Children
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Syrett, Kristen; Lidz, Jeffrey – Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, 2009
We show that 4-year-olds assign the correct interpretation to antecedent-contained deletion (ACD) sentences because they have the correct representation of these structures. This representation involves Quantifier Raising (QR) of a Quantificational Noun Phrase (QNP) that must move out of the site of the verb phrase in which it is contained to…
Descriptors: Sentences, Verbs, Nouns, Grammar