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Department of Cognitive Science

Cogntive Science Alumni

Nobu Akagi

Nobu Akagi

Thesis Details

Questions and disjunction in child language.

My thesis focuses on child acquisition of a logical word 'or', also known as disjunction in classical logic. Use of disjunction in human languages is not limited to express the meaning of disjunction (i.e., an extentional component of disjunction), that is for example,"John ate an apple or an orange" means 'John ate at least one kind of fruit'. The disjunction in human languages also expresses a speaker's mental state of uncertainty (i.e., an intentional component of disjunction). In other words, the above sentence also expresses speaker's uncertainty about which kind of fruit John ate. Furthermore, in some languages like Japanese, a disjunctive word and a question word share an identical lexicon, -ka, indicating a link between the two words. By looking at child performance on comprehension and production of such a word, I also attempt to spell out the relationship between disjunction and questions.

  • Type: PhD
  • Scholarship : MQRES
  • Supervisors : Distinguished Professor Stephen Crain and Associate Professor Rosalind Thornton

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