Although negation in natural languages is a complex and heterogeneous phenomenon, the first instances of linguistic negation appear in children’s speech quite early, by 18 and 24 months of life. Nevertheless, its acquisition is a gradual and challenging process, as it takes time for children to fully grasp the semantic meanings of the different negative words to be able to use them correctly across different sentential contexts. Moreover, in order to understand how to negate a sentence, children must also learn how negation can have scope over different parts of the sentences, leaving the others unaffected. The picture becomes even more complicated for children when multiple negative structures come into play, in which the negative meaning is conveyed by the combination of two (or more) negative elements. The interpretation of these complex syntactic constructions is indeed not always straightforward since a different arrangement of the same negative elements may yield different semantic interpretations of the same sentence.

The acquisition of Negation

Marta Tagliani;Maria Vender;Chiara Melloni
2022

Abstract

Although negation in natural languages is a complex and heterogeneous phenomenon, the first instances of linguistic negation appear in children’s speech quite early, by 18 and 24 months of life. Nevertheless, its acquisition is a gradual and challenging process, as it takes time for children to fully grasp the semantic meanings of the different negative words to be able to use them correctly across different sentential contexts. Moreover, in order to understand how to negate a sentence, children must also learn how negation can have scope over different parts of the sentences, leaving the others unaffected. The picture becomes even more complicated for children when multiple negative structures come into play, in which the negative meaning is conveyed by the combination of two (or more) negative elements. The interpretation of these complex syntactic constructions is indeed not always straightforward since a different arrangement of the same negative elements may yield different semantic interpretations of the same sentence.
Acquisition, Negation, Italian, CHILDES
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1069667
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