The interpretation of disjunction in VP ellipsis in Mandarin Chinese

Na Gao, Rosalind Thornton, Peng Zhou, Stephen Crain

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

    Abstract

    This study investigated the interpretation assigned to disjunction by Mandarin-speaking children and adults in negative sentences with either overt or covert disjunction. In one condition, both negation and disjunction were phonologically realized in the second conjunct of a coordinate structure. In a second condition, disjunction was elided from the verb phrase. Children and adults differed in scope assignments when both negation and disjunction were phonologically realized. However, negation took scope over disjunction for both groups when disjunction was elided. The findings invite the inference that adults, but not children, analyze disjunction as a Positive Polarity Item in negative sentences, but this polarity sensitivity is cancelled in sentences with verb phrase ellipsis. In this linguistic structure, both groups assign the same interpretation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThree streams of generative language acquisition research
    EditorsTania Ionin, Matthew Rispoli
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
    Pages107-124
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9789027262882
    ISBN (Print)9789027202246
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
    EventGenerative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America Conference (7th : 2016) - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, United States
    Duration: 8 Sep 201610 Sep 2016

    Publication series

    NameLanguage Acquisition and Language Disorders
    Volume63
    ISSN (Print)0925-0123
    ISSN (Electronic)2213-428X

    Conference

    ConferenceGenerative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America Conference (7th : 2016)
    CountryUnited States
    CityUrbana-Champaign
    Period8/09/1610/09/16

    Keywords

    • verb phrase ellipsis
    • disjunction
    • scope assignment
    • child Mandarin

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'The interpretation of disjunction in VP ellipsis in Mandarin Chinese'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this