Testing theories of temporal inferences: Evidence from child language. Cremers, A., Kane, F., Tieu, L., Kennedy, L., Sudo, Y., Folli, R., & Romoli, J. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics, Ubiquity Press, 2018.
Testing theories of temporal inferences: Evidence from child language [link]Link  abstract   bibtex   
Sentences involving past tense verbs, such as ``My dogs were on the carpet'', tend to give rise to the inference that the corresponding present tense version,``My dogs are on the carpet'', is false. This inference is often referred to as a cessation or temporal inference, and is generally analyzed as a type of implicature. There are two main proposals for capturing this asymmetry: one assumes a difference in informativity between the past and present counterparts (Altshuler & Schwarzschild 2013), while the other proposes a structural difference between the two (Thomas 2012). The two approaches are similar in terms of empirical coverage, but differ in their predictions for language acquisition. Using a novel animated picture selection paradigm, we investigated these predictions. Specifically, we compared the performance of a group of 4–6-year-old children and a group of adults on temporal inferences, scalar implicatures arising from ``some'', and inferences of adverbial modifiers under negation. The results revealed that overall, children computed all three inferences at a lower rate than adult controls; however they were more adult-like on temporal inferences and inferences of adverbial modifiers than on scalar implicatures. We discuss the implications of the findings, both for a developmental alternatives-based hypothesis (eg, Barner et al. 2011; Singh et al. 2016; Tieu et al. 2016; 2018), as well as theories of temporal inferences, arguing that the finding that children were more (and equally) adult-like on temporal inferences and adverbial modifiers supports a structural theory of temporal inferences along the lines of Thomas (2012).
@article{CremersEtal:2018,
	abstract = {Sentences involving past tense verbs, such as ``My dogs were on the carpet'', tend to give rise to the inference that the corresponding present tense version,``My dogs are on the carpet'', is false. This inference is often referred to as a cessation or temporal inference, and is generally analyzed as a type of implicature. There are two main proposals for capturing this asymmetry: one assumes a difference in informativity between the past and present counterparts (Altshuler & Schwarzschild 2013), while the other proposes a structural difference between the two (Thomas 2012). The two approaches are similar in terms of empirical coverage, but differ in their predictions for language acquisition. Using a novel animated picture selection paradigm, we investigated these predictions. Specifically, we compared the performance of a group of 4--6-year-old children and a group of adults on temporal inferences, scalar implicatures arising from ``some'', and inferences of adverbial modifiers under negation. The results revealed that overall, children computed all three inferences at a lower rate than adult controls; however they were more adult-like on temporal inferences and inferences of adverbial modifiers than on scalar implicatures. We discuss the implications of the findings, both for a developmental alternatives-based hypothesis (eg, Barner et al. 2011; Singh et al. 2016; Tieu et al. 2016; 2018), as well as theories of temporal inferences, arguing that the finding that children were more (and equally) adult-like on temporal inferences and adverbial modifiers supports a structural theory of temporal inferences along the lines of Thomas (2012).},
	author = {Cremers, Alexandre and Kane, Frances and Tieu, Lyn and Kennedy, Lynda and Sudo, Yasutada and Folli, Raffaella and Romoli, Jacopo},
	date-added = {2019-01-14 20:06:42 +0000},
	date-modified = {2019-02-02 14:59:57 +0100},
	journal = {Glossa: a journal of general linguistics},
	number = {1},
	publisher = {Ubiquity Press},
	title = {Testing theories of temporal inferences: Evidence from child language},
	url_link = {http://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.604},
	volume = {3},
	year = {2018}}

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