Exhaustive pairing errors in passives

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Children make exhaustive pairing (EP) errors with universal quantifiers, rejecting sentences like (1) for Figure 1 because of the extra object, in contrast to adults. EP errors have been explained as a syntactic, semantic and/or pragmatic issue (Philip, 2011), or caused by experimental artifacts (Crain et-al., 1996). Children made more EP errors with quantified objects (Kang, 2001). When the quantified set was introduced as discourse topic, however, EP errors disappeared (Drozd & van Loosbroek, 2006). This only happened though for quantified subjects, not quantified objects (Hollebrandse, 2004). To further examine the role of grammatical function, we investigated passives. We expected that children might perform worse on passives than actives, because passivization disrupts the canonical mapping between thematic roles and grammatical function.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBUCLD 45
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 45th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development
EditorsDanielle Dionne , Lee-Ann Vidal Covas
Place of PublicationSomerville
PublisherCascadilla Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)978-1-57473-067-8
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameBUCLD: Proceedings of the Boston University Conference on Language Development
PublisherCascadilla Press
ISSN (Print)1080-692X


  • language acquisition, universal quantification passive

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