The paper reports on the first stage of a semi-longitudinal study on the acquisition of ambiguous doubly-quantified sentences with an existential quantifier a/someone/dareka in the subject position and a universal quantifier every/dono N-mo in the object position in L2 English by L1-Japanese children. The experimental sentence was a semantically ambiguous one of the following type: Someone/A girl read every book (∃>∀; ∀>∃). Such ambiguity with an equivalent sentence Dareka-ga dono hon-mo yonda (∃>∀;*∀>∃) in the canonical word order (SOV) in a scope rigid Japanese is not possible, but arises in the scrambled (OSV) word order: Dono hon-mo dareka-ga yonda (∃>∀; ∀>∃). The data were collected from six children (mean age=5;4) by a Truth Value Judgment Task (Crain & Thornton 1998) in both child L1 and L2. All participants generally showed a preference for the surface scope in both languages, whereas two participants with the lowest age of onset in English accepted inverse scope in English and Japanese. The results are interpreted within the Full Transfer/Full Access model (Schwartz & Sprouse 1996) but the application of the model, at the current stage of the study, raises conceptual issues for the direction and type of transfer. The study contributes to a relatively uninvestigated area in the acquisition of quantifiers as a syntax-semantics phenomenon in child L2 acquisition.
Proceedings of the 12th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2013)
edited by Jennifer Cabrelli Amaro, Tiffany Judy, and Diego Pascual y Cabo Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-461-4 library binding
v + 221 pages
publication date: 2013
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA