DGfS 2016 | 24.-26.2.2016

38. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft

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AG 12: Presuppositions in language acquisition

Anja Müller, Viola Schmitt


Evidence from adult speakers suggests that apart from standard truth-conditional content, content can also be contributed on the levels of presupposition and of implicature. The organization of these levels as well as the particular analysis of individual expressions w.r.t. these levels are core questions of current linguistic research. The investigation of when children acquire which content types helps to determine the general path of language acquisition itself and is central for the theoretical questions mentioned above. Work on the acquisition of implicatures suggests implicated content becomes accessible later than truth-conditional-content (cf. Noveck 2001 a.o.). The present workshop focusses on the acquisition of presuppositional content, which so far has received less attention in language acquisition research. The question we raise and that papers should address are, a.o.:

- Data from adult speakers suggests a distinction between "semantic" presuppositions and "pragmatic" presuppositions. Is this distinction reflected in acquisition? Do children acquire "pragmatic" presuppositions later or earlier than "semantic" presuppositions?

- At what age do children interpret sentences with presupposition triggers adult-like? Do we find differences between the levels of truth-conditions and presupposition in children?
- At what age do children show an adult-like behavior w.r.t. presupposition projection and accommodation? 

Given that online methods seem to be especially sensitive for children’s competence methods studies using online techniques are of particular interest for the workshop.


Noveck, Ira. 2001. When children are more logical than adults: Experimental investigations of scalar implicature. Cognition 78. 165–188.


Mittwoch, 24. Februar 2016
14:00 - 15:00


Kenneth Drozd (Invited speaker):

Cumulative universal quantification

15:00 - 15:30

Francesca Panzeri and Francesca Foppolo:

The presuppositions of also and only: the view from acquisition

15:30 - 16:00

Yi-ching Su:

Only for children

16:00 - 16:30Kaffeepause
16:30 - 17:00

Tom Roeper, Jennifer Rau:

Children fail to repair presuppositions

17:00 - 17:30

Magda Oiry:

How children deal with a contextually canceled presupposition

17:30 - 18:00

Cory Bill, Jérémy Zehr, Lyn Tieu, Jacopo Romoli, Stephen Crain, Florian Schwarz:

On the acquisition of presupposition projection

18:00 - 18:30

Lilla Pintér:

Exhaustivity of structural focus in Hungarian: presupposition or implicature?