How we know what they know

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How we know what they know. Where are we . Coming attraction: experiments, results, etc. But: these need to be placed in perspective, to see what is needed to understand child language learning - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • How we know what they know

  • Where are we Coming attraction: experiments, results, etc.

    But: these need to be placed in perspective, to see what is needed to understand child language learning

    We want to understand what inferences children must make in order to arrive at mature language state

    Evidence from cross-language typologyEvidence from observations/guesses about learners experienceEvidence from stages of child development do children overgenerate or undergenerate

  • Asking children about grammarStephen Crain, Macquarie U, SydneyYou cant ask a child: What interpretations do you accept for ? Some animal ate every piece of food ORHe thinks that John is the winner

    Clever strategies can be used

    Simple/indirect dependent measures carry risks

  • Crain & Thornton, 1998

  • Truth Value Judgment Task

    I know what happened in this story

  • Principle Ca. While John was reading the book, he ate an apple

    b. While he was reading the book, John ate an apple

    c. John ate an apple while he was reading the book

    d. *He ate an apple while John was reading the book

  • Truth Value Judgment Task

    Principle C in children: English - Crain & McKee (1985) Russian - Kazanina & Phillips (2001), etc.

  • Hello, Eeyore! I see that youre reading a book.

  • What a fine-looking apple.

  • No, Pooh. You cant eat the apple - thats my apple.

  • Ok, Ill have to eat a banana instead.

  • Ok, Pooh. Ive finished reading. Now you can read the book.

  • Great. Now that Pooh is reading the book, I can eat this delicious apple.

  • I shouldnt be such a greedy donkey - I should let Pooh eat the apple.

  • I suppose I have to eat a banana instead.

  • Here you are, Pooh. You can have the apple.

  • Oh, Im such a lucky bear! I can read the book, and I can eat the apple, at the same time.

  • Apple is eaten up.

  • OK, that was a story about Eeyore and Winnie-the-Pooh. First Eeyore was reading the book and then Winnie-the-Pooh was reading the book. I know one thing that happened...While Pooh was reading the book, he ate the apple.

  • OK, that was a story about Eeyore and Winnie-the-Pooh. First Eeyore was reading the book and then Winnie-the-Pooh was reading the book. I know one thing that happened...While he was reading the book, Pooh ate the apple.

  • OK, that was a story about Eeyore and Winnie-the-Pooh. First Eeyore was reading the book and then Winnie-the-Pooh was reading the book. I know one thing that happened...Pooh ate the apple while he was reading the book.

  • OK, that was a story about Eeyore and Winnie-the-Pooh. First Eeyore was reading the book and then Winnie-the-Pooh was reading the book. I know one thing that happened...He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

  • How 3-4 Year Olds Performa. While Pooh was reading the book, he ate an apple

    b. While he was reading the book, Pooh ate an apple

    c. Pooh ate an apple while he was reading the book

    d. *He ate an apple while Pooh was reading the bookyes!yes!yes!no!Works for English, Italian, Russian etc.

  • How the Task WorksChild is not being judgedIdentical story for all test sentences Avoids childs yes bias - child shows knowledge by answering noStory favors the ungrammatical meaningStory is set up to make no answer felicitous

  • How the Task WorksChild is not being judgedIdentical story for all test sentences Avoids childs yes bias - child shows knowledge by answering noStory favors the ungrammatical meaningStory is set up to make no answer felicitous

  • How the Task WorksChild is not being judgedchild understands that (s)he is helping the experimenter to test a puppet (e.g. Kermit)child does not feel that (s)he is being tested, and so feels under less pressurechilds response is very simple yes/nothe simplicity of the dependent measure is both a strength and a danger

  • How the Task WorksChild is not being judgedIdentical story for all test sentences Avoids childs yes bias - child shows knowledge by answering noStory favors the ungrammatical meaningStory is set up to make no answer felicitous

  • How the Task Works

    Identical story for all test sentencesonly difference is in the final sentence that Kermit uttersif children respond differently to the different test sentences, this cant be due to any differences in the stories

  • How the Task WorksChild is not being judgedIdentical story for all test sentences Avoids childs yes bias - child shows knowledge by answering noStory favors the ungrammatical meaningStory is set up to make no answer felicitous

  • OK, that was a story about Eeyore and Winnie-the-Pooh. First Eeyore was reading the book and then Winnie-the-Pooh was reading the book. I know one thing that happened...He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

  • How the Task WorksChild is not being judgedIdentical story for all test sentences Avoids childs yes bias - child shows knowledge by answering noStory favors the ungrammatical meaningStory is set up to make no answer felicitous

  • OK, that was a story about Eeyore and Winnie-the-Pooh. First Eeyore was reading the book and then Winnie-the-Pooh was reading the book. I know one thing that happened...He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

  • OK, that was a story about Eeyore and Winnie-the-Pooh. First Eeyore was reading the book and then Winnie-the-Pooh was reading the book. I know one thing that happened...He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

  • How the Task WorksChild is not being judgedIdentical story for all test sentences Avoids childs yes bias - child shows knowledge by answering noStory favors the ungrammatical meaningStory is set up to make no answer felicitous

  • Making no answers possibleHe ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

  • Plausible DenialHe ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

    TRUE - but ungrammatical

    He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

    Grammatical - but FALSEclearly FALSE, since it almost happened, but then didnt

    Eeyore

  • Great. Now that Pooh is reading the book, I can eat this delicious apple.

  • I shouldnt be such a greedy donkey - I should let Pooh eat the apple.

  • I suppose I have to eat a banana instead.

  • Takuya Goro, UMd 2002-7, Asst. Prof. Ibaraki U., JapanTests of interpretations that involve uncertainty

    Japanese disjunctionScope flexibility (we saw this already)

  • English vs. Japanese (1)John speaks Icelandic or Swahili.(but Im not sure which language he can actually speak)

    John-wa Icelandic ka Swahili-wo hanas-u.John-TOP or -ACC speak-pres.(but Im not sure which language he can actually speak)

    The interpretations of disjunctions are more or less same in both languages.

  • English vs. Japanese (2)John doesnt speak Icelandic or Swahili.John doesnt speak Icelandic AND he doesnt speak Swahili.

    John-wa Icelandic ka Swahili-wo hanasa-na-iJohn-TOP or -ACC speak-neg-pres.John doesnt speak Icelandic ORhe doesnt speak Swahili.(I know it is either one of those languages that John cannot speak, but Im not sure which one)

  • Neither interpretation in JapaneseJohn-wa Icelandic mo Swahili mo hanas-u.John-TOP also also speak-pres.John speaks both Icelandic and Swahili

    John-wa Icelandic mo Swahili mo hanase-na-iJohn-TOP also also speak-neg-pres. John speaks neither Icelandic nor Swahili.

  • Disjunction and parameterLets say that UG provides the universal disjunction operator OR, associated with a parameter={+PPI, -PPI}

    OR(+PPI) disjunctions in Japanese / Hungarian / Russian / ItalianOR(-PPI) disjunctions in English / German / Korean(cf. Szabolcsi 2002)

  • Question about childrenCan Japanese children accept the wide-scope reading of ka in (4)?

    John-wa Icelandic ka Swahili-wo hanasa-na-iJohn-TOP or -ACC speak-neg-pres.

    Can they accept (4) in the situation where John cannot speak Icelandic but he can speak Swahili?

    If they have the PPI setting, they should say No

  • Experimental conditions and the felicity of test sentencesJohn-wa Icelandic ka Swahili-wo hanasa-na-iJohn-TOP or -ACC speak-neg-pres.

    Situation: John cannot speak Icelandic but he can speak Swahili

    Experimental context should make the sentence perfectly felicitous under AB (adult) interpretation; otherwise, childrens negative responses may not be counted as evidence for childrens conjunctive interpretation of ka.

  • Felicity conditions for ABThe speaker knows that something with affirmative expectation turned out to be false.otherwise, he wouldnt use negation.

    The speaker knows that it is either A or B (but not both) that is false. otherwise, he would say AB.

    The speaker doesnt know which one is false. otherwise, he would simply say A, or B.

  • Creating UncertaintyTwo sub-sessions (1) The eating-game12 animals try to eat 3 kinds of food. Depending of how good they did, they get a particular kind of medal as a prize.

    (2)Truth Value JudgmentKermit guesses how good each animal did on the basis of the medal the animal has.

  • ParticipantsJapanese monolingual children in Sumire kindergarden, Totsuka, Yokohama.

    N=30, Age: 3;7-6;3, Mean: 5;3

  • Experimenter: Look at this! There are animals going

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