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Bookmark and Share Paper 1735

Ne ... que in English-French Acquisition: Lexical Storage or Syntactic Calculations?
Laurent Dekydtspotter and Amandine Lorente Lapole
58-68 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper investigates the interaction of the ne ... que XP construction, which has the meaning of only XP, with the scope of modifiers in English-French interpretation. Whereas the meaning of ne ... que XP as only XP is either taught or contextually manifested in speakers' intentions, the precise manner in which learners represent the (meaning of) the construction is highly undetermined by the input that English-French learners receive. A holistic representation, in which the meaning of the whole is stipulated as a meaning postulate, is contrasted with a compositional representation, in which the meaning of the whole is derived from the meaning of parts. On the basis of scope interactions, it is argued that, whereas a meaning postulate would have eliminated the need for abstract, detailed representations, the evidence suggests that learners adopt an abstract compositional analysis, suggestive of a deep, compositional reflex.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 2007 Second Language Research Forum
edited by Melissa Bowles, Rebecca Foote, Silvia Perpiñán, and Rakesh Bhatt
Table of contents
Printed edition: $270.00