Olinco 2103 partitivity and implicatures

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  1. The role of partitive construction in generating scalar implicatures Mirjana Mandić, Boban Arsenijević Department of Serbian Language Faculty of Philosophy…
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  • 1. The role of partitive construction in generating scalar implicatures Mirjana Mandić, Boban Arsenijević Department of Serbian Language Faculty of Philosophy University of Niš, Serbia Olinco 2013
  • 2. Scalar implicatures (SIs) • Scalar terms (Horn 2006) – sets of alternative meanings, ordered according to their informativness • (1a) <a, some, many, most, all> • (1b) <or, and> • (1c) <one, two, three> • <weak, strong> <some, all> • S (x) → W (x) all (x) → some (x) • W (x) +> ¬ S (x) some (x) +> ¬ all (x) 2
  • 3. Scalar implicatures Some elephants have trunks. (Noveck 2001) → Not all elephants have trunks. (We bought 5 apples. ) Some (of the) apples are on the table. → Not all (the) apples are on the table. 3
  • 4. Theoretical background • two different words or one word with two readings? • which one is the default one: – a lower-bounding truth-conditional component (“at least some”) – an upper-bounding non-truth-conditional component (“not all”) 4
  • 5. Theoretical background • defaultism – strong: a scalar inference is triggered by a word and the triggering process is fast – weak: “By default interpretation, I simply mean the one that most people would give in circumstances in which the context is unbiased one way or the other.” (Chierchia 2004: 51) • contextualism – scalar term meaning must be strengthened in the context (Geurts 2011) 5
  • 6. Previous research • developmental perspective • Noveck 2001, Papafragou & Musolino 2003, Barner, Brooks i Bale 2010 • COST Action project • Katsos et al. 2009, Katsos et al. 2011 – Serbian neki 54% vs. English some 99% • Methodological problem: partitive vs. non- partitive some. 6
  • 7. Serbian quantifier neki ‘some’ • Neke jabuke / neke od jabuka su na stolu. ‘Some /some of the apples are on the table.’ – cardinal, i.e. weak reading – proportional, i.e. strong reading • [some]weak = A∩B ≠ Ø [some]strong = A∩B ≠ Ø. [¬(A ⊂ B)] • the ambiguity of Serbian bare nouns (due to the lack of articles): definite, indefinite, non- referential and generic interpretation 7
  • 8. Hypothesis • the scalar implicature of the quantifier neki ‘some’ in adults fails due to a failure in the establishment of the right reference domain restriction • SIs should be facilitated if the proper reference domain is provided by linguistic means: – the use of contexts facilitating the definite interpretation of the noun – the use of partitive construction in which the noun receives a definite interpretation (neki od + noun.gen ‘some of the NOUN’) 8
  • 9. Partitivity and scalar implicatures • Pouscoulous et al. 2007 – certains vs. quelques in French • Banga et al. 2009 – sommige (van de) vs. enkele (van de) in Dutch 9
  • 10. Experiments • Conditions: – partitivity: non-partitive (some apples) vs. partitive (some of the apples) – contrastive focus: quantifier, predicate, neutral 1. SOME (of the) apples are on the table. 2. Some (of the) apples are ON THE TABLE. 3. Some (of the) apples are on the table. – word order: initial vs. final QNP 1. Some (of the) apples are on the table. 2. On the table are some (of the) apples. • Dependent measure: percentage of rejected statements (SI) 10
  • 11. Truth-Value Judgment Task Participants: 56 adult native speakers of Serbian We picked 5 apples from the tree. Neke jabuke su na stolu. some apples are on table. Did Pera see it well? 11
  • 12. Truth-Valued Judgment Task We picked 5 apples from the tree. 5 birds live in the park. Target (5/5): Filler: Some apples are on the table. (The) red birds are in the tree. We brought 5 bananas from the market. We got 5 balls for the birthday. Control (3/5): true Control (0/5): false Some bananas are on the table. Some balls are on the table. 12
  • 13. Results • General Linear Model Repeated Measures ANOVA partitivity x focus x word order – main effect of partitivity (F=33.921, df=1, p<0.0001) – main effect of word order (F=4.061, df=1, p<0.05) – reliable interaction between partitivity and focus (F=4.116, df=2, p<0.05) 13
  • 14. Results: overall SIs derived: 59% in part, 27% in non-part constr. 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 part non-part part non-part part non-part quantifier predicative neutral -SI +SI 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 part non-part part non-part part non-part quantifier predicative neutral -SI +SI 14 Initial QNP: 49% part, 16.6.% non-part Some apples are on (the) table. Final QNP: 68% part, 37% non-part On (the) table are some apples.
  • 15. The role of partitivity • partitivity affects the availability of SIs • two loci of scalarity: 1. the scalarity between the weaker, ambiguous neki+noun ‘some+noun’ construction and the stronger, only scalar partitive construction 2. the scalarity of the term neki ‘some’ with respect to other terms such as svi ‘all’ or nijedan ‘none’ 15
  • 16. Concluding remarks • cross-linguistic variation • the role of linguistic factors in generating SIs • implications for the developmental perspective 16
  • 17. References • Banga, A. et al. 2009. Some implicature reveal semantic differences. Available at: http://www.let.rug.nl/hendriks/papers/bangaetal09.pdf • Barner, D. et al. 2010. Quantity implicatures and access to scalar alternatives in language acquisition. In Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 20, 525–543. • Breheny, R. et al. 2006. Are scalar implicatures generated on-line by default? Cognition 100: 434–463. • Geurts, B. 2011. Quantity implicatures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. • Chierchia, G. 2004. Scalar implicatures, polarity phenomena and the syn-tax/pragmatics interface. In A. Belletti (Ed.),Structures and beyond, 39–103. • Oxford University Press. • Horn, L. 2006. Implicatures. In The Handbook of Pragmatics, eds. L. Horn i G. Ward, 3–28. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. • Herburger, E. 1997. Focus and weak noun phrases. Natural Language Semantics 5: 53–78. • Katsos, N. et al. 2009. Semantika kvantifikatora u srpskom. Implikature i domet kod odraslih i dece. Rad predstavljen na Petnaestoj godišnjoj konferenciji Empirijska istraživanja u psihologiji, 6–7. Februar 2009, Beograd, Srbija. • Katsos, N. et al. 2012. The acquisition of quantification across languages. In Proceedings of the 36th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, eds. A. Biller, E. Chung &A. Kimball, 258–268. Cascadilla Press. • Noveck, I. 2001.When children are more logical than adults: experimental investigations of scalar implicature. Cognition 78: 165–188. • Papafragou, A. ,Musolino, J. 2003. Scalar implicatures: experiments at the semantic/pragmatic interface. Cognition 86: 253–282. • Pouscoulous, N. et al. 2007. A developmental investigation of processing costs in implicature production. Language Acquisition14 (4): 347–375. 17
  • 18. THANK YOU! 18
  • 19. Acknowledgments • We are grateful to Darinka Anñelković, Maja Savić and Oliver Tošković (Laboratory for Experimental Psychology, Belgrade) for their help in designing the experiments, as well as Tihana Smiljanić, Lazar Bojičić and Snežana Todorović (Petnica Science Center, Serbia) for their help in pursuing the experiments. 19
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