The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LangAcq/ESSL Lab Meeting 2/14: Athulya Aravind and Cindy Torma (MIT)

Speaker:​ Athulya Aravind and Cindy Torma
Title: Decomposing ​both
Time: Friday, February 14th, 2pm – 3pm
Location: 32-D831 (8th Floor Conference Room)

The acquisition trajectories of semantically complex quantifiers can be a fruitful window into understanding the primitives and construction principles involved in natural language quantification. As a case study, we investigate the acquisition of the English quantifier both, which involves (i) universal quantification and (ii) a duality presupposition. We examine 2-and-3-year-olds’ understanding of both given an understanding of universal quantification and number knowledge, probed using the corresponding expressions all and two. I’d like to discuss some preliminary results, where it looks like children hypothesize candidate meanings for both that comprise only a subset of its component meanings or where the pieces are assembled in non-adult ways.​