Anna Papafragou

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In this article we present two sets of experiments designed to investigate the acquisition of scalar implicatures. Scalar implicatures arise in examples like Some professors are famous where the speaker's use of some typically indicates that s/he had reasons not to use a more informative term, e.g. all. Some professors are famous therefore gives rise to the(More)
Languages differ in how they encode motion. When describing bounded motion, English speakers typically use verbs that convey information about manner (e.g., slide, skip, walk) rather than path (e.g., approach, ascend), whereas Greek speakers do the opposite. We investigated whether this strong cross-language difference influences how people allocate(More)
This article maybe used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution , reselling , loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents(More)
Mental-content verbs such as think, believe, imagine and hope seem to pose special problems for the young language learner. One possible explanation for these difficulties is that the concepts that these verbs express are hard to grasp and therefore their acquisition must await relevant conceptual development. According to a different, perhaps(More)
Languages vary strikingly in how they encode motion events. In some languages (e.g. English), manner of motion is typically encoded within the verb, while direction of motion information appears in modifiers. In other languages (e.g. Greek), the verb usually encodes the direction of motion, while the manner information is often omitted, or encoded in(More)
How do we talk about events we perceive? And how tight is the connection between linguistic and non-linguistic representations of events? To address these questions, we experimentally compared motion descriptions produced by children and adults in two typologically distinct languages, Greek and English. Our findings confirm a well-known asymmetry between(More)
One of the tasks of language learning is the discovery of the intricate division of labour between the lexical-semantic content of an expression and the pragmatic inferences the expression can be used to convey. Here we investigate experimentally the development of the semantics-pragmatics interface, focusing on Greek-speaking five-year-olds' interpretation(More)
What is the relation between language and thought? Specifically, how do linguistic and conceptual representations make contact during language learning? This paper addresses these questions by investigating the acquisition of evidentiality (the linguistic encoding of information source) and its relation to children's evidential reasoning. Previous studies(More)
Within the linguistics literature it is often claimed that epistemic modality, unlike other kinds of modality, does not contribute to truth-conditional content. In this paper I challenge this view. I reanalyze a variety of arguments which have been used in support of the non-truth-conditional view and show that they can be handled on an alternative analysis(More)