General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 7 September, 2017 16:30 to 17:00

Oral presentation

When is Recursion Easier for Children?

Speaker: Tom Roeper, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Authors: Jill de Villiers, Tom Roeper, Jessica Kotfila

How could recursion make grammar clearer for a child? We studied extraction of adjunct wh-questions from lower clausal complements. Some research suggests children have a "first resort" answering strategy; others find long distance interpretation common. Children do make systematic errors by answering with "reality" (last verb only) for a false complement, an answer that eludes opacity generated by the higher verb recursively subcategorizing the clause. We tested whether recursive complements (i.e. two embeddings) would produce different results, with 29 children aged 3;5-5;7 and 23 adults, tested on stories designed to have multiple potential answers, some illegal. The six single embedded sentences produced vastly different answers than the recursive cases, which in general were answered successfully. There is no evidence of a first resort strategy. Moreover recursion blocks the child’s answers that close the clause prematurely for interpretation, allowing full LD movement. Recursion thus fundamentally alters the processing of sentences.

Further information:

L1 acquisition - Session II

Other activities in L1 acquisition - Session II

15:30 h. to 16:00 h.

Oral presentation

Syntactic Locality and Intervention in the Acquisition of Greek Relative Clauses

Speaker: Nikos  Angelopoulos, University of California Los Angeles
Speaker: Arhonto Terzi, Technological Educational Institute of Western Greece

16:00 h. to 16:30 h.

Oral presentation

Children do not Repair Presuppositions

Speaker: Tom Roeper, University of Massachusetts Amherst

15:00 h. to 15:30 h.

Oral presentation

Stress or context for the computation of Scalar implicatures?

Speaker: Luisa Meroni, Universiteit Utrecht