5. The acquisition of universal quantifiers in Spanish

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This chapter deals with experimental research on Spanish children’s interpretation of universal quantifiers. A potentially difficult asymmetry is highlighted: quantifiers in preverbal or postverbal position in contexts of Clitic Left Dislocation. We show that five-year-olds easily obtain the wide scope interpretation of postverbal quantifier subjects, unless they are presented with biased matching pictures (with an impaired object or an impaired agent). We give support to the continuity assumption that children and adults share a common core of linguistic knowledge.The distribution of the chapter is as follows. In section 1, we present an interesting asymmetry observed in the literature of universal quantifiers in adult Spanish. In section 2, some insightful background on acquisition of quantifiers is provided. Section 3 deals with the methodology of the experiment. The results are left for section 4. Section 5 is intended as the final discussion.


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