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Share Paper 1128

The Interpretation of Indefinites and Bare Singulars in Spanish Child Language
Karen Miller and Cristina Schmitt
92-101 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper presents an experiment on child interpretation of Spanish indefinites and bare singulars under negation. The findings show that Spanish-speaking children understand the scopeless property of bare singulars and that, contrary to what has been found in other languages, Spanish-speaking children pattern with adults by treating indefinite singulars ambiguously. These findings show that Spanish-speaking children do not treat bare singulars and indefinites the same and strongly suggest that the lexical ambiguity of the Spanish indefinite article (ambiguous between an indefinite and the number 'one') is playing a role in how Spanish children comprehend sentences containing indefinites.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 6th Conference on the Acquisition of Spanish and Portuguese as First and Second Languages
edited by David Eddington
Table of contents
Printed edition: $195.00