The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

ESSL/LaqLab Meeting 4/11

Speaker: Athulya Aravind (MIT)
Title: Children’s understanding of factive forget/remember
Date and time: Monday, April 11th, 1:00 to 2:00 PM
Venue: 32-D831

Children have been reported to have enduring difficulties with cognitive factives, even at an age when they don’t have generalized difficulties with (non-factive) attitude predicates or presupposition triggers. Specifically, children behave as if they don’t know that the veracity inference survives under negation. We examine 4-6-year-olds’ understanding of the factive verb-pair forget/remember and find two populations: one group (n=13) displays adult-like performance, while the other (n=19) appears to be treating factive predicates on par with their implicative counterparts. My goal for this talk will be twofold: (i) consider whether this pattern is indicative of an acquisition stage where children lack a factive representation for remember/forget and (ii) discuss ideas for follow-up experiments that could adjudicate between different interpretations of these results.