UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 11 (1999)

Quantifier spreading by English and Korean children


This paper argues that the phenomenon of quantifier spreading by young children has to be analysed both cognitively and linguistically. Evidence comes from the fact that the visual input plays a key role in determining the children's conceptual representation, suggesting the need for the central integration of visual and linguistic elements. In contrast, the fact that spreading is commoner in the younger age groups and t hen gradually disappears is explicable in terms of the maturation of the linguistic system. It is claimed that children initially treat quantifiers as modifiers, rather than functional heads, and that quantifier spreading can be seen as one reason for th e developmental delay of the relevant functional category, DP, in language acquisition.

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