Pierina Cheung

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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)
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)
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)
The current study investigated the development of numerical estimation in 3to 5-year-old children sampled monthly for six months. At each session, children completed a task that assesses verbal number knowledge (Give-N task) and a numerical estimation task that assesses approximate number knowledge (Fast Cards). Results showed that children who acquired the(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)
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)
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)
People frequently gesture when problem-solving, particularly on tasks that require spatial transformation. Gesture often facilitates task performance by interacting with internal mental representations, but how this works is poorly understood. We investigated this question by exploring the case of Mental Abacus (MA), a technique in which users imagine(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)