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Article: Cross-linguistic Patterns in the Acquisition of Quantifiers

TitleCross-linguistic Patterns in the Acquisition of Quantifiers
Authors
Issue Date2016
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.pnas.org
Citation
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016, v. 113 n. 33, p. 9244-9249 How to Cite?
AbstractLearners of most languages are faced with the task of acquiring words to talk about number and quantity. Much is known about the order of acquisition of number words as well as the cognitive and perceptual systems and cultural practices that shape it. Substantially less is known about the acquisition of quantifiers. Here, we consider the extent to which systems and practices that support number word acquisition can be applied to quantifier acquisition and conclude that the two domains are largely distinct in this respect. Consequently, we hypothesize that the acquisition of quantifiers is constrained by a set of factors related to each quantifier's specific meaning. We investigate competence with the expressions for 'all,' 'none,' 'some,' 'some…not,' and 'most' in 31 languages, representing 11 language types, by testing 768 5-y-old children and 536 adults. We found a cross-linguistically similar order of acquisition of quantifiers, explicable in terms of four factors relating to their meaning and use. In addition, exploratory analyses reveal that language- and learner-specific factors, such as negative concord and gender, are significant predictors of variation. Significance Although much research has been devoted to the acquisition of number words, relatively little is known about the acquisition of other expressions of quantity. We propose that the order of acquisition of quantifiers is related to features inherent to the meaning of each term. Four specific dimensions of the meaning and use of quantifiers are found to capture robust similarities in the order of acquisition of quantifiers in similar ways across 31 languages, representing 11 language types.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/227698
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 9.423
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 6.883
PubMed Central ID

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorKatsos, N-
dc.contributor.authorCummins, C-
dc.contributor.authorEzeizabarrena, M-
dc.contributor.authorGavarró, A-
dc.contributor.authorKraljevic, J-
dc.contributor.authorHrzica, G-
dc.contributor.authorGrohmann, K-
dc.contributor.authorSkordi, A-
dc.contributor.authorde López, K-
dc.contributor.authorSundahl, L-
dc.contributor.authorvan Hout, A-
dc.contributor.authorHollebrandse, B-
dc.contributor.authorOverweg, J-
dc.contributor.authorFaber, M-
dc.contributor.authorvan Koert, M-
dc.contributor.authorSmith, N-
dc.contributor.authorVija, M-
dc.contributor.authorZupping, S-
dc.contributor.authorKunnari, S-
dc.contributor.authorMorisseau, T-
dc.contributor.authorRusieshvili, M-
dc.contributor.authorYatsushiro, K-
dc.contributor.authorFengler, A-
dc.contributor.authorVarlokosta, S-
dc.contributor.authorKonstantzou, K-
dc.contributor.authorFarby, S-
dc.contributor.authorGuasti, M-
dc.contributor.authorVernice, M-
dc.contributor.authorOkabe, R-
dc.contributor.authorIsobe, M-
dc.contributor.authorCrosthwaite, PR-
dc.contributor.authorHong, Y-
dc.contributor.authorBalčiūnienė, I-
dc.contributor.authorNizar, Y-
dc.contributor.authorGrech, H-
dc.contributor.authorGatt, D-
dc.contributor.authorCheong, W-
dc.contributor.authorAsbjørnsen, A-
dc.contributor.authorTorkildsen, J-
dc.contributor.authorHaman, E-
dc.contributor.authorMiękisz, A-
dc.contributor.authorGagarina, N-
dc.contributor.authorPuzanova, J-
dc.contributor.authorAnđelković, D-
dc.contributor.authorSavić, M-
dc.contributor.authorJošić, S-
dc.contributor.authorSlančová, D-
dc.contributor.authorKapalková, S-
dc.contributor.authorBarberán, T-
dc.contributor.authorÖzge, D-
dc.contributor.authorHassan, S-
dc.contributor.authorChan, C-
dc.contributor.authorOkubo, T-
dc.contributor.authorvan der Lely, H-
dc.contributor.authorSauerland, U-
dc.contributor.authorNoveck, I-
dc.date.accessioned2016-07-18T09:12:18Z-
dc.date.available2016-07-18T09:12:18Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016, v. 113 n. 33, p. 9244-9249-
dc.identifier.issn0027-8424-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/227698-
dc.description.abstractLearners of most languages are faced with the task of acquiring words to talk about number and quantity. Much is known about the order of acquisition of number words as well as the cognitive and perceptual systems and cultural practices that shape it. Substantially less is known about the acquisition of quantifiers. Here, we consider the extent to which systems and practices that support number word acquisition can be applied to quantifier acquisition and conclude that the two domains are largely distinct in this respect. Consequently, we hypothesize that the acquisition of quantifiers is constrained by a set of factors related to each quantifier's specific meaning. We investigate competence with the expressions for 'all,' 'none,' 'some,' 'some…not,' and 'most' in 31 languages, representing 11 language types, by testing 768 5-y-old children and 536 adults. We found a cross-linguistically similar order of acquisition of quantifiers, explicable in terms of four factors relating to their meaning and use. In addition, exploratory analyses reveal that language- and learner-specific factors, such as negative concord and gender, are significant predictors of variation. Significance Although much research has been devoted to the acquisition of number words, relatively little is known about the acquisition of other expressions of quantity. We propose that the order of acquisition of quantifiers is related to features inherent to the meaning of each term. Four specific dimensions of the meaning and use of quantifiers are found to capture robust similarities in the order of acquisition of quantifiers in similar ways across 31 languages, representing 11 language types.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherNational Academy of Sciences. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.pnas.org-
dc.relation.ispartofProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences-
dc.rightsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.titleCross-linguistic Patterns in the Acquisition of Quantifiers-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailCrosthwaite, PR: drprc80@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityCrosthwaite, PR=rp01961-
dc.description.naturepostprint-
dc.identifier.doi10.1073/pnas.1601341113-
dc.identifier.pmcidPMC4995931-
dc.identifier.hkuros258819-
dc.identifier.volume113-
dc.identifier.issue33-
dc.identifier.spage9244-
dc.identifier.epage9249-
dc.publisher.placeUnited States-

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