Sortal concepts and pragmatic inference in children’s early quantification of objects

@article{Srinivasan2013SortalCA,
  title={Sortal concepts and pragmatic inference in children’s early quantification of objects},
  author={Mahesh Srinivasan and Eleanor Chestnut and Peggy Li and David Barner},
  journal={Cognitive Psychology},
  year={2013},
  volume={66},
  pages={302-326}
}
It is typically assumed that count nouns like fork act as logical sortals, specifying whether objects are countable units of a kind (e.g., that a whole fork counts as "one fork") or not (e.g., that a piece of a fork does not count as "one fork"). In four experiments, we provide evidence from linguistic and conceptual development that nouns do not specify units of quantification, but include both whole objects and their arbitrary parts in their denotations. We argue that, to restrict… CONTINUE READING
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