Downward entailment in child Mandarin

Yi Su*, Peng Zhou, Stephen Crain

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)
    29 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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