Downward entailment in child Mandarin

Yi Su*, Peng Zhou, Stephen Crain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


There are three hallmarks of core linguistic properties. First, they are expected to be manifested in typologically different languages. Second, they should unify superficially unrelated linguistic phenomena. Third, they are expected to emerge early in the course of language development, all things being equal (Crain, 1991). The present study investigates a candidate for a core linguistic property, namely the semantic property of downward entailment. We report the findings of two experimental studies of children's knowledge of downward entailment. These experiments explore two different aspects of downward entailment, in a study with Mandarin-speaking children. Taken together with previous research findings, the results of the present study support the conclusion that downward entailment is a core property of human languages. ©

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-990
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Child Language
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2012 Cambridge University Press. Article originally published in Journal of Child Language, Vol 39, iss 5, pp 957-990. The original article can be found at

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