The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LFRG 2/22 - Ayaka Sugawara

Speaker: Ayaka Sugawara, presenting work in collaboration with Martin Hackl, Su Lin Blodgett (Wellesley college), and Ken Wexler.
Date/Time: Fri Feb 22, 11:30am
Location: 32-D461
Title: Scalar Presupposition and the Generation of Alternatives in the Acquisition of Only


This talk presents a novel account of a curious and ill understood phenomenon of L1-Acquisition concerning only (Crain et al. 1992, 1994 a.o.). Our account is based on the assumption that only always triggers a scalar presupposition (in addition to presupposing the prejacent) as well as on Fox & Katzir’s (2011) mechanism for generating the set of alternatives relevant for the interpretation of only. In support, we present new data from ongoing experiments indicating that the factors identified by our account modulate children’s success in interpreting sentences with only.