ACQUIRING SCOPE: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY
Based on the spontaneous data of a Chinese-speaking child collected from 1 year old up to 4+ years old, this study focuses on the development of his scope by examining the scope interaction between negation and quantified NPs that occur in preverbal positions. It is found that the child is sensitive to scope at 3;2, an age much earlier than the age reported in other studies (e.g., age of 6 in Lee 1991). Further evidence shows that the child has mastered scope of negation and scope in general at the age of 4. First, starting from age 4;3, the child has managed to mark universal quantifiers and wh-phrases as well as duration phrases occurring in the preverbal position with scope markers such as dou ‘all’ and you ‘have’. Second, by the age of 4;5, the child has placed duration phrases in target positions in relation to negation.
Key words: acquisition of scope, negation, quantified NPs, duration phrase