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Napoleon Katsos: How children learn "some", "all", and "most", words

08.06.2018 | 16:00 s.t.

Gastvortrag im Rahmen der Brain Language Talks


Presenter: Dr. Napoleon Katsos, University of Cambridge

Title: How children learn "some", "all", and "most", words


We can all imagine how children learn to count: they receive substantial training from caregivers and they start with learning ‘one’, proceeding in order of increasing cardinality (“...two, three, four…”). But what about other words of quantity such as ‘all’, ‘some’, ‘most’, or ‘none’? No-one teaches young children explicitly what these words mean or how they are used. So, what constraints the order in which children learn them?

In this presentation, I will share findings from a crosslinguistic investigation in the acquisition of quantity expressions (such as the English ‘all’, ‘none’, ‘some’, ‘some…not’ and ‘most’) in 31 languages, representing 11 language types. We found a cross-linguistically similar order of acquisition of quantifiers, that we attempt to explain in terms of four factors relating to their meaning and use. Besides sharing the main findings, I will explore the cognitive and perceptual biases that possibly underlie the universality of the findings. The audience is very welcome to contribute ideas from their own areas of expertise.


Zeit & Ort

08.06.2018 | 16:00 s.t.

Raum: JK 31/122
Habelschwerdter Allee 45