Pierina Cheung

Learn More
A study of 104 Japanese-speaking 2- to 5-year-olds tested the relation between numeral and quantifier acquisition. A first study assessed Japanese children's comprehension of quantifiers, numerals, and classifiers. Relative to English-speaking counterparts, Japanese children were delayed in numeral comprehension at 2 years of age but showed no difference at(More)
Young children typically take between 18 months and 2 years to learn the meanings of number words. In the present study, we investigated this developmental trajectory in bilingual preschoolers to examine the relative contributions of two factors in number word learning: (1) the construction of numerical concepts, and (2) the mapping of language specific(More)
This paper compares descriptivist approaches for concept acquisition with essentialist approaches by exploring the conditions under which people use generic sentences (sentences such as 'Apples are round' which contrast with sentences about particulars like 'All/most of the apples are round'). It fleshes out the essentialist approach in terms of the Baptism(More)
When presented with an entity (e.g., a wooden honey-dipper) labeled with a novel noun, how does a listener know that the noun refers to an instance of an object kind (honey-dipper) rather than to a substance kind (wood)? While English speakers draw upon count-mass syntax for clues to the noun's meaning, linguists have proposed that classifier languages,(More)
Some have proposed that speakers of classifier languages such as Mandarin or Japanese, which lack count-mass syntax, have to rely on classifiers for acquiring individuated meanings of nouns (e.g., Borer 2005; Lucy 1992). This paper examines this view by looking at how Mandarin adults interpret bare nouns and use classifier knowledge to guide quantification(More)
By some accounts, speakers of classifier languages such as Mandarin or Japanese, which lack count-mass syntax, require classifiers to specify individuated meanings of nouns. This paper examines this view by testing how Mandarin speakers interpret bare nouns and use classifier knowledge to guide quantification in four studies. Using a quantity judgment task,(More)
Recent accounts of number word learning posit that when children learn to accurately count sets (i.e., become "cardinal principle" or "CP" knowers), they have a conceptual insight about how the count list implements the successor function - i.e., that every natural number n has a successor defined as n+1 (Carey, 2004, 2009; Sarnecka & Carey, 2008). However,(More)
Complex numerals (e.g., four hundred) have a multiplicative structure (four hundred = 4 x 100). This paper investigates whether children are sensitive to the meaning of the multiplicative structure. We designed a novel word learning paradigm and taught 4-to 6-year-old children the meaning of a novel numeral phrase (e.g., 'one gobi houses' to mean a group of(More)
A substantial amount of recent research has focused on whether children can learn from pictures books. However, no previous research has characterized the learning potential of fictional picture books that are widely available and read to children. In the present study, we coded 50 bestselling and 50 randomly-selected children's picture books for their(More)