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Bookmark and Share Paper 1563

The Acquisition of Universal Quantifiers in Russian
Julia Kuznetsova, Maria Babyonyshev, Jodi Reich, Lesley Hart, and Elena Grigorenko
224-232 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper is concerned with the acquisition of universal quantifiers by monolingual Russian-speaking children. Specifically, it tests the use of the symmetrical strategy in three conditions: (1) quantified subject position, (2) quantified object position, and (3) plural unmodified. It also tests the predictions of the Event Quantification View, which argues that quantifiers scope over events not nominals for children, and the Full Competence View, which argues that children have an adult-like ability to comprehend quantification and that any errors are due to infelicitous experiment design. The study utilized a picture-selection task with 42 children, aged 4-12. The quantifiers vse 'each' and kazhdyj 'all' were tested. The children's ability to choose adult-like responses was not significantly different for the two quantifiers. In addition, the data demonstrate that children use the symmetrical strategy more frequently when it results in an acceptable adult-like interpretation, but that children still choose the symmetrical response when it is unacceptable for adults. The children's responses also show that the symmetrical response is used in sentences without any universal quantifiers. In addition, the data provide evidence that children with Specific Language Impairment are not significantly different from typically developing children in their ability to interpret quantification.

Published in

Proceedings of the 2nd Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA)
edited by Alyona Belikova, Luisa Meroni, and Mari Umeda
Table of contents
Printed edition: $320.00