Children's Interpretation of Quantification: Their wh-constructions

by Taisuke Nishigauchi

The present article reports the results of the pilot experiments conducted to explore the nature of wh-constructions in child language. The results reported here are summarised as follows:
  1. Pair-list answers to multiple wh-questions form a dominant pattern, and in this respect majority of the children observed in the present research exhibited the adult pattern.
  2. Children's tendency to answer a wh-question using a list, more often than adults would, which was pointed out by RdV's experimental study, also prevailed in the present study.
  3. The result of the interview presented in 4.1 is suggestive of the quality of wh-phrases in child language having the universal quantificational force.
  4. In all of the interviews testing multiple wh-questions, children's response answering only the object wh was observed.
Some discussion will be presented to show that these results are consistent with the hypothesis that wh-phrases in child grammar are interpreted as the universal quantifier.

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