13/01/2010 Computer Science Linguistics
DOI: 10.1075/LA.150.04GUA SemanticScholar ID: 63322708 MAG: 2477998690

Scope assignment in child language: On the role of the Question Under Discussion

Publication Summary

This paper focuses on recent work on children’s interpretation of scopally ambiguous sentences. We review current literature on the topic and we discuss two theoretical notions, namely the notion of surface scope and the notion of Question under Discussion (QUD). We argue that both notions are theoretically motivated but pertain to different domains. In particular, in agreement with current literature, we acknowledge that notions defined over the syntax-semantics mapping play a role in determining the number of interpretations that are available for any given sentence (see Fox, 2000). However, we propose that inverse scope and surface scope are equally available to the psychological parser. In particular, we argue that ambiguity resolution is guided by contextual congruence rather than by considerations about the syntax-semantics mapping.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Sharon Unsworth

Dr. Sharon Unsworth

Radboud University - Associate Professor in the Department of Language and Communication and the Department of Modern Languages

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