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Generative linguistic theory stands on the hypothesis that grammar cannot be acquired solely on the basis of an analysis of the input, but depends, in addition, on innate structure within the learner to guide the process of acquisition. This hypothesis derives from a logical argument, however, and its consequences have never been examined experimentally(More)
Studies under the heading "syntactic bootstrapping" have demonstrated that syntax guides young children's interpretations during verb learning. We evaluate two hypotheses concerning the origins of syntactic bootstrapping effects. The "universalist" view, holding that syntactic bootstrapping falls out from universal properties of the syntax-semantics(More)
This paper proposes and defends an Interface Transparency Thesis concerning how linguistic meanings are related to the cognitive systems that are used to evaluate sentences for truth/falsity: a declarative sentence S is semantically associated with a canonical procedure for determining whether S is true (cf. Dummett 1973, Horty 2007); and while this(More)
The meaning of 'most' can be described in many ways. We offer a framework for distinguishing semantic descriptions, interpreted as psychological hypotheses that go beyond claims about sentential truth conditions, and an experiment that tells against an attractive idea: 'most' is understood in terms of one-to-one correspondence. Adults evaluated 'Most of the(More)
In a head-final language, V-raising is hard to detect since there is no evidence from the string to support a raising analysis. If the language has a cliticlike negation that associates with the verb in syntax, then scope facts concerning negation and a quantified object NP could provide evidence regarding the height of the verb. Even so, such facts are(More)
Current interest in automatic sentiment analysis is motivated by a variety of information requirements. The vast majority of work in sentiment analysis has been specifically targeted at detecting subjective statements and mining opinions. This dissertation focuses on a different but related problem that to date has received relatively little attention in(More)
This paper focuses on how phrasal prosody and function words may interact during early language acquisition. Experimental results show that infants have access to intermediate prosodic phrases (phonological phrases) during the first year of life, and use these to constrain lexical segmentation. These same intermediate prosodic phrases are used by adults to(More)
This paper explores what children and adults know about three specific ways that meaning and context interact: the interpretation of expressions whose extensions vary in different contexts (semantic context dependence); conditions on the felicitous use of expressions in a discourse context (presupposition accommodation) and informative uses of expressions(More)
The psychology supporting the use of quantifier words (e.g., "some," "most," "more") is of interest to both scientists studying quantity representation (e.g., number, area) and to scientists and linguists studying the syntax and semantics of these terms. Understanding quantifiers requires both a mastery of the linguistic representations and a connection(More)