Differentiating universal quantification from perfectivity: Cantonese-speaking children’s command of the affixal quantifier saai3
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AbstractThis study investigates whether Cantonese-speaking preschoolers are sensitive to the semantic differences between universal quantification and perfectivity under the differentiating context of negation. In Cantonese, the negation of a perfective predicate in the form of [NEG V] denotes the non-existence or non-realization of an event (“none” reading), while the negation of a predicate suffixed by the universal quantifier saai3 in the form of [NEG V saai3] denotes the partial realization of an event (“partial” reading). Using the two-choice picture/video selection task, we tested 34 children aged between 3;6 and 4;6 (mean age = 3;10) and 72 adults in a between-subject design on sentences of the form [NEG V] (negation of perfectivity) or [NEG V saai3] (negation of universal quantification), paired with a none reading (non-existence or non-realization or an event) and a partial reading (partial realization of an event). Our findings reveal that children are able to differentiate universal quantification and perfectivity in the negation context. While children can understand saai3 quantifying an object under the scope of negation, a blocking effect is observed in subject quantification with the negator intervening between saai3 and its associated nominal.
All Author(s) ListLEI Ka Yan Margaret, LEE Hun Tak Thomas
All Editor(s) ListKatalin É. Kiss, Tamás Zétényi
Book titleLinguistic and Cognitive Aspects of Quantification
Series TitleStudies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics
Volume Number47
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Place of PublicationMACham
Pages57 - 82
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2020-25-05 at 01:15