Learning what must and can must and can mean

Annemarie Van Dooren, Anouk Dieuleveut, Ailís Cournane, Valentine Hacquard

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    This corpus study investigates how children figure out that functional modalslike must can express various flavors of modality. We examine how modality isexpressed in speech to and by children, and find that the way speakers usemodals may obscure their polysemy. Yet, children eventually figure it out. Ourresults suggest that some do before age 3. We show that while root andepistemic flavors are not equally well-represented in the input, there are robustcorrelations between flavor and aspect, which learners could exploit to discovermodal polysemy.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Number of pages10
    StatePublished - 2017
    Event21st Amsterdam Colloquium, AC 2017 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Duration: Dec 20 2017Dec 22 2017


    Conference21st Amsterdam Colloquium, AC 2017

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computational Theory and Mathematics
    • Software


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