LSA.226 | Semantic Development in First Language Acquisition
In this course we examine specific aspects of semantic development in first language acquisition with an eye to understanding the role and interaction of universal principles and target-specific aspects of grammar in development. Recent empirical findings in developmental semantics have import for several central issues in cognitive science, including the poverty-of-stimulus argument, modularity, and the nature of linguistic universals. This course will examine these issues, as well as the use of experimental methodology in the assessment of children's emerging syntactic and semantic competence.
Discussion will include the following topics:
Structural constraints on interpretation, scalar implicatures (with special attention to the interpretation of disjunction), the meaning of Determiners (with special attention to universal quantification), downward entailment, and focus operators
Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of syntactic and semantic theory.