Abstract

Abstract:

This study examines it-clefts in four- and five-year-old English-speaking children using a truth-value judgment task. The goal was to find out whether children (i) observe principle C in clefts like It was Spot that he brushed and (ii) access bound-variable interpretations in clefts like It was her pig that every girl carried, despite the lack of c-command between relevant elements in the surface representation. Our experimental finding was that children behave like adults. This suggests that children do not rely solely on the word order of sentences encountered in their linguistic input, but use mechanisms made available by innate linguistic knowledge for interpretation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 405-431
Launched on MUSE
2018-06-16
Open Access
No
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