Developmental insights into gappy phenomena: comparing presupposition, implicature, homogeneity, and vagueness

Lyn Tieu, Cory Bill, Jérémy Zehr, Jacopo Romoli, Florian Schwarz

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    In natural language, we encounter various sentence types that, under certain circumstances, are evaluated as neither true nor false. For instance, it is intuitively difficult to assess the truth value of a sentence whose presupposition is not satisfied in the context. A common theoretical approach is to characterize the status of such sentences with a third value of one kind or another. In this chapter, we consider children’s acquisition of four linguistic phenomena that can give rise to ‘gappy’ judgments that correspond neither to True nor False: scalar implicature, presupposition, homogeneity, and vagueness. We discuss how young children’s interpretations of such sentences can provide insight into how these phenomena should be treated within semantic theories.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSemantics in language acquisition
    EditorsKristen Syrett, Sudha Arunachalam
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
    Number of pages24
    ISBN (Electronic)9789027263605
    ISBN (Print)9789027201379
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Publication series

    NameTrends in language acquisition research
    ISSN (Print)1569-0644


    • scalar implicature
    • presupposition
    • homogeneity
    • vagueness
    • truth value gaps

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Developmental insights into gappy phenomena: comparing presupposition, implicature, homogeneity, and vagueness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this