1 The Acquisition of Japanese Focus Particles: (only) and mo (also) dake 3 2 1 1 3 3 , Izumi Yabu Kazumi Matsuoka , Miki Hirata , Nobuhiro Miyoshi , Koji Hoshi , Masanobu Ueda 3 1 2 Keio University, Asahikawa Medical College, Hokkaido University rpretation for adverbs such as only, also, even The acquisition of semantic inte should be a challenge for young children, since it requires combining information from multiple sub-modules of language: syntax, seman tics, and pragmatics. In addition, there is alternative sets are determined. This paper a cross-linguistic difference in how the possible investigation of the acquisition of focus presents novel findings from an experimental dake (only) and mo (also) in Japanese. Given that characterizing the nature of the particles syntactic-semantic interface is one of the important issues in the generative-based acquisition study, the focus phenomenon is a reasonable t opic to investigate. The current study provides important empirical data for the syntactic theory of focus items. 1. Japanese Focus Particles The interpretation of t oo/also in English is not necessarily determined syntactically. In the following examples, the interpretation of the adverb also varies, even though it position in both sentences. appears in the same syntactic to Sue (1) a. John also introduced [Bill] F ll, whom John introduced to Sue.) (There is someone other than Bi b. John also introduced Bill to [Sue] F (There is someone other than Sue, to whom John introduced Bill.) (Rooth 1996) On the other hand, the range of the alte rnative set in the interpretation of mo is syntactically determined, as demonstrat ed in the following examples: (2) Subject+ mo : Yusuke- mo jitensha-o kat-ta Yusuke-also bicycle-ACC buy-PAST ‘Yusuke also bought a bicycle (in addition to other people)’. (3) Object+ mo : Yusuke-ga jitensha- mo kat-ta Yusuke-NOM bicycle-also buy-PAST ‘Yusuke bought a bicycle, too (in a ddition to other belongings)’. The particle dake (only) behaves similarly to only in English; as indicated in the English
2 gloss in (4) and (5) below, is typically associated w ith the noun phrase immediately dake preceding it. Subject+ dake : Yusuke- jitensha-o kat-ta (4) dake Yusuke-only bicycle-ACC buy-PAST ‘Only Yusuke bought a bicycle.’ Object+ dake : Yusuke-ga jitensha- dake kat-ta (5) Yusuke-NOM bicycle-only buy-PAST ‘Yusuke bought only a bicycle.’ Following Aoyagi (1999), the focus particle is referred to as a K-particle, while mo dake is an F-particle (see Teramura 1991 and refe rences cited therein for a discussion of the o types of focus particles in Japanese linguistics). It is traditional classification of the tw that the association between focus particles widely assumed in Japanese syntactic literature and the focused items is established by covert or overt movement. Considering the scope interaction between negation and mo , as well as the crossing effect with an NPI and a wh-phrase, Hasegawa (2005) argues that mo phrases undergo overt movement to the Spec of TP. Aoyagi (1999) argues that the association of DP and K/F-pa rticles is licensed by covert of different functional projections (T for movement of the focus particles to a head 1 v for F-particles) K-particles, . On the other hand, Hoshi (2005) claims that the distribution of K- and F-particles can be captured in the same projecti on (FocP), though the K-particle can be the Focus head, while the phrase containing the F-particle and the focused element moves overtly to the Spec of FocP. Wherever the landing site of the focus particles and their associated focused items is, there should be no difference between the fo cused subject and the focused object. Nevertheless, it has been observed in recent language acquisition rese arch that a group of young, Japanese-speaking children exhibits a subject-object asymmetry in their interpretation of sentences that includes focu s particles. Endo (2004) reported that a group of Japanese children gave a dake was always associated with non-adult response, in which the object, regardless of its syntactic positi on. She did not observe any ‘subject-only’ responses. However, the relationship between the number of non-adult responses and age was inconsistent in Endo’s study. Furthermore, some of her test sentences included both dake 1 For a different minimalist approach to focus particles, see Sano (2001a , b) and references cited therein.
3 and the Nominative Case-particle . (6) is a representative example: ga (6) Taroo-dake-ga ringo-o tabe-ta. Taroo-only-NOM apple-ACC eat-PAST ‘Only Taroo ate an apple.’ NP often induces the ‘exhaustive listing’ reading in a simple The sentence-initial Nominative clause. Hence, we predict that if the expe riment is appropriately designed, a different picture would emerge. To verify the pred iction, a study was conducted to see if Endo’s mo the semantic contribution of the particle results could be replicated. Considering that (also) is similar to that of dake (only), in that both of them can be associated with focused sessions with sentences which included materials, we also conducted separate . mo 2. Subjects and Method A total of 120 Japanese-speaking children from Sapporo and Osaka (4;7-6;10, mean: 5;10) participated between September 2004 and February 2005 (62 in the dake session, 58 in the mo session). The Truth-Value Judgment task (Crain and Thornton 1998, Matsuoka et al. 2005) was conducted care center or kindergarten in a quiet room of the day- that they normally attend. Test sentences with dake did not appear with any Case particles, so that they did not induce th e ‘exhaustive listing’ reading. Moreover, each target sentence began with the phrase ‘ kono ohanashi de wa (in this story)’. This was done to control the strong preference among Japanese speakers to place the topic marker ( wa ) at the beginning 2 of a simple sentence . The following is an example: kono ohanashi de wa, omawarisan-ga kyoryu-dake nade-mashi-ta. (7) 3 this story in TOP policeman-NOM dinosaur-only pat-POL-PAST ‘In this story, he policeman patted only the dinosaur.’ There were three tokens of each of the ‘subject+focus particle ( mo / dake )’ and the ‘object+focus particle ( / dake )’ (see Appendix for the complete list of the test sentences mo and fillers). Stories and fillers were ordered in such a way that more than one story of the same type was not presented c onsecutively. The majority of the children participated in either the dake or mo sessions, but not both. 2 We are indebted to Satoshi Oku for suggesting this to us. 3 TOP: Topic, NOM: nominative, ACC: accusative, PERS: personalizer, POL:polite, DIM: diminutive
4 3. Results Three children did not complete the session (one for the mo experiment, two for the experiments are summarized below: experiment). Results of the two dake Chart 1: Number of Adult-like Responses ( mo ) Subject + mo Object + Subjects Total: 57 Mean age mo 6;1 88% (29/33) 82% (27/ 33) Adult-like (N:11) All-Yes (N:44) 5;10 8% (10/132) 8% (10/132) Subject Orientation (N:2) 67% (4/6) 17% (1/6) 5;7 Object Orientation (N:0) n.a. n.a. n.a. Chart 2: Number of Adult-like Responses ( ) dake Mean age Subject + dake Object + dake Subjects Total: 60 Adult-like (N:29) 5;11 94% (82/87) 91% (79/87) All-Yes (N:12) 5;5 14% (5/36) 8% (3/36) Subject Orientation (N:18) 5;10 91% (49/54) 24% (13/54) Object Orientation (N:1) 5;9 100% (3/3) 33% (1/3) We found a very different pattern from what Endo reported. First, children’s as the age of the subj ects increase d, both with dake and mo non-adult responses decreased mo , from 56% to 36% for dake ). Moreover, both for dake and mo , (from 100% to 81% for we found a larger number of subject-o nly responses. In the case of dake , the subject- orientated group accounts for 30% of the subjec ts (N: 18, mean age: 5;10), while there is the object-oriented responses (age 5;9). only one participant who consistently gave dake and mo At the same time, children treated differently: 17% (11 out of 57) of the mo subjects (mean age: 6;4) gave adult-like responses (as shown in Chart 1), while 48% (29 out of 60) of the dake subjects (mean:5;11) gave adult-like responses (as shown in Chart 2). 4. Discussion Children’s response patterns indicat e that those two focus items ( mo and dake )
5 actually have different syntactic-semantic properties, which provides support to the claim mo and have different syntactic derivati ons. At the same time, though, the that dake 4 nd the object-oriented responses existence of the subject- a and dake , mo given to the possibility that consistently observed in previous studies and the current study, suggest human grammar treats the two types of focus items in a similar fashion as well. Namely, our data possibly provide support for Hoshi’s (2 005) argument that the distribution of K- and F-particles is captured by postulating the FocP. The non adult-like response patterns reporte d in our study are not language-specific observed with English-speaking children. phenomena; very similar patterns have been ed young children’s interpretation of sentences which contain Crain et al. (1993) investigat . See the following examples: only (8) Only the bird is holding a flag (9) The bird is holding only a flag For (8) to be true, there should be no other ch aracter (other than the bird) who is holding a flag. On the other hand, for children to ac cept (9) as true, the bird should be holding nothing other than a flag. Crain et al. reported that young children gave either the subject-only (mean age: 4;8) or an object-only (mean age: 5;0) interpretation of only , regardless of its syntactic position. The subject-only group of children always associated only with the subject for both sentences (8) and (9); the object-only group interpreted only as if it were associated with the object in both sentence s. The response patterns obtain ed in the current studies, as h the patterns repor well as Endo (2004) and Matsuoka (2004), matc ted in children’s non adult-like interpretation of only . This strongly implies that both subject-oriented and object-oriented interpretations of focus items are universally allowed options in language development. Our results, however, differed from thos e reported by Endo; unlike Endo’s subjects, a group of children gave the s ubject-oriented responses. Ac tually, they outnumbered the children who gave the object-oriented responses. As discussed in Section 1, Endo’s test sentences contained the Case particles ( ga and o ). Hoshi and Miyoshi (2005) argued that sentences which contain both dake and a Case particle are syntact ically derived in a different fashion from sentences with not followed by any Case particle. The different dake response patterns observed in Endo’s and our studies might provide empirical support to their analysis. A follow-up study is in progress to address the issue. 4 Matsuoka (2004) reported that a group of children of similar ages gave the object-oriented responses to senten mo . Based on her observati ons, we assume that all ces that included . ervable both in the case of dake and mo four response patterns are obs
6 There is an indication of a possible de velopmental path in the following graph, response patterns in the ent, with dake which shows the ratio of the four part of the experim the children divided into three age groups (4, 5, and 6-year -olds). e ) Graph 1: Response Pattern by Age ( dak s to be assoc sta ramm ar which allows f Children rt with the g iated with eith er of the ocus item subject or the object (t he ‘All-YES’ pattern). Then a gr oup of children go throu gh eith er the subject-oriented or the object- the adult-like responses. oriented stage, before giving mo ferent in the case of , as shown in the following graph: The pattern is very dif Graph 2: Response Patterns by ) Age ( mo Even though adult-like responses can be seen in older children (5-6 years olds), there seem s to be no clear indication that th e likelihood of this response increases w ith age. There are
7 very few children who gave the subject- or object- oriented responses, either. The all-YES three age groups. Obviously, inte rpreting the association of pattern persists throughout the 5 is more challenging than to young children focus with dake mo . It is unlikely that those six-year-olds we re not able to comprehend the additive . The following is a summary of the a ppearance of the focus items from the meaning of mo CHILDES database (MacWhinney 2000). Chart 3: First Occurrence of Focus Particles 6 7 dake mo 2;7;26 AKI (Miyata 2004) 2;3;26 RYO (Miyata 2004) 2;2;29 2;5;1 2;1;30 TAI (Miyata 2004) 1;6;04 TARO (Hamasaki 2004) 3;2;3 2;11;11 JUN (Ishii 2004) 2;6 2;2;20 2;2 2;2 SUMIHARE (Noji, et al. 2004) At a glance, we can see that mo appears earlier than dake . Except for TARO, who seemed to have taken longer to start using both focus particles, the first productive occurrence of mo is observed between 1;6–2;3, wh ile the first occurrence of dake is between 2;1-2;7. An important observation here is that children’s spontaneous usage of and dake starts at the mo s that the non-adult interpretations of focus early stage of language development. This mean e result of delayed acquisition of the items in particles of 4 to 6-year-olds are not simply th question. It is not clear which of the subject- or the object-ori ented interpretation is the nguage development. However, there is an ‘standard’ or ‘dominant’ path in children’s la 5 the fact that the K-particle controls the The difference observed here could be related to felicity of the sentence, while the F-particle ch anges the truth-value of the sentence (Diane repeated below, seems to be awkward (but Lillo-Martin, p.c.) For example, sentence (2), not false), even if there is no one ot her than Yusuke who has a bicycle. (2) Yusuke-mo jitensha-o kat-ta Yusuke-also bicycle-ACC buy-PAST ‘Yusuke also bought a bicycle (in addition to other people)’ 6 Dake in ‘ kore dake’ kon dake ’ could be interpreted either as focus (i.e. ‘only this’) or or ‘ amount (i.e. ‘about this much’). For that re ason, those phrases were excluded from our analysis. 7 mo with more than one type of DP in the same file. The ages are when children uttered Namely, we excluded the files in which the child used mo with the same DP repeatedly (e.g. ‘ koko mo .’ ‘ Akichan mo .’)
8 indication that the subjec could be the dominant option. Hüttner et al. t-orientated responses 1-7;8) performed better with interpreting (2004) noted that German-speaking children (2;1 (an equivalent to E nglish also), as oppos ed to the unstressed auch . the stressed auch induces subject-oriented interpretation. Interestingly, the stressed auch (10) a. Max will AUCH Boot fahren. Max wants to go by boat like other people go by boat. b. Max will auch Boot fahren. In addition of other vehicles Max want to go by boat. Hüttner et al. (2004) to argue that children auch Hüttner et al. interpreted the data differently acquire the stressed earlier than the unstressed one. However, th is seems to contradict the finding that young difficulty using prosodic information to Dutch-speaking children (Mean age 5;5) have alleen (an equivalent to English only ) (Szendr ő i 2003). Gualmini interpret sentences with et al. (2003) also reported that contrastive st ress did not reliably act as a cue for children (mean age: 4;9;26) to interpret possibly ambiguous English sentences that include . An only that children ignored th alternative account of Hüttner et al’s data is e contrastive stress and assigned the subject-oriented interpretation more often. 5. Summary Focus items and dake in Japanese show different syntactic behavior, which led mo Japanese researchers to classify them into two different categories: K-particle ( mo ) and F-particle ( dake ). Nevertheless, our research showed that young Japanese-speaking children go through a similar develo the focus items of different pmental path as they learn types. The path does not seem to be comp letely uniform, though: when children interpret sentences which include a focus item, one grou p of children assigned the subject-oriented interpretation, while the other exhib ited the object-oriented interpretation. The focus phenomenon is an exception to the general observation in children’s language development: comprehension precedes production. Hence, investigating the developmental sequence of the acquisition of focus items will provide important insights into the nature of the innate knowledge of language.
9 Acknowledgements We appreciate children, teachers, and pare nts at Barato Mary Kindergarten, Chuo Kindergarten, Kumanoda Day Day Care Center, Itakano Da y Care Center, Kamenomori Toyonaka Hozumi Day Care Center. Diane Care Center, Senri Hijiri Kindergarten, and Lillo-Martin and Satoshi Oku provided insi ghtful comments. John Helwig provided editorial help. The research repor ted here is supported by Japa n Society for the Promotion of ch (B) 16320062 (principal investigator: Kazumi Science Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Resear Matsuoka). All errors are our own. References Aoyagi, Hiroshi. 1999. On association of quantifier-like particles with focus in Japanese. In Linguistics: in search of the human mi ed. by nd – a Festschrift for Kazuko Inoue, Masatake Muraki and Enoch Iwamoto, 24-56. Tokyo: Kaitakusha. Crain, Stephen and Rosalind Thornton. 1998. Investigations in universal grammar: a guide to experiments on the acquisi Cambridge, Mass.:MIT tion of syntax and semantics. Press. Endo, Mika. 2004. Developmental issues on the interpretation of focus particles by Japanese children. In Proceedings of the 28th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, ed. by Alejna Brugos, Linnea Micciulla, and Christine E. Smith, 141-152. Somerville,Mass. : Cascadilla Press. ki Corpus. Pittsburgh, PA: TalkBank. Hamasaki, Naomi. 2004. Japanese: Hamasa 1-59642-053-7. Hasegawa, Nobuko. 2005. The EPP materialized first, Agree later: Wh-Questions, Mo 'also'-phrases. Scientific Approaches to Language No.4 subjects and . Center for Language Sciences, Kanda University of International Studies. 33-80. Hoshi, Koji. 2005. Deriving Association with Focus in Japanese within the Single-Cycle System. ms. Keio University. Hoshi, Koji and Nobuhiro Miyoshi. 2005. A Deri vational Approach to Association with Focus in Japanese and its Consequences . Paper presented at the 131st Biannual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of Japan, Hiroshima University. Hüttner, Tanja, Heiner Drenhaus, Ruben van de Vijver and Jürgen Weissenborn. 2004. The acquisition of the German focus particle auch ‘too’: comprehension does not always precede production. In Online Supplement to the Proceedings of the 28th Boston University Conference on Language Development , ed. by Alejna Brugos, Linnea Micciulla and Christine E. Smith. Ishii, Takeo. 2004. Japanese: Ishii Cor pus. Pittsburgh, PA: TalkBank. 1-59642-054-5.
10 MacWhinney, Brian. 2000. r analyzing talk: third edition. The CHILDES project: tools fo Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Matsuoka, Kazumi. 2004. Addressing the syntax/ semantics/ pragmatics interface: the acquisition of the Japanese additive particle mo . In Online Supplement to the rsity Conference on Language Development , ed. Proceedings of the 28th Boston Unive lla and Christine E. Smith. by Alejna Brugos, Linnea Micciu , Miki Hirata, Izumi Yabu. 2005. Truth-value judgment Matsuoka, Kazumi, Masanobu Ueda ssion no chui to mondaiten (Truth-value task: shingichi handan kadai: jikken se procedures and notes). judgment task: experimental Hiyoshi Kiyo: Gengo, Bunka, Communication ( Language, Culture, and Communication) No. 35 , Yokohama: Keio University. 1-18. Miyata, Susanne. 2004. Japanese: Aki Corpus. Pittsburgh, PA: TalkBank. 1-59642-055-3. Miyata, Susanne. 2004. Japanese: Ryo Corpus. Pittsburgh, PA: TalkBank. 1-59642-056-1. pus. Pittsburgh, PA: TalkBank. 1-59642-057-X. Miyata, Susanne. 2004. Japanese: Tai Cor Noji, Junya., Norio Naka, and Susanne Miyata. 2004. Japanese: Noji Corpus. Pittsburgh, PA: TalkBank. 1-59642-058-8. Rooth, Mats. 1996. Focus. In The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory , ed. by Lappin, Shalom, 271-297. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell. cus particles and thei r interaction with Sano, Masaki. 2001a. On the scope of some fo causatives, adverbs, and subjects in Japanese. English Linguistics , No.18, Vol.1, 1-31. Sano, Masaki. 2001b. Agree and covert phrasal movement: evidence fr om focus particle licensing in Japanese. No.18, Vol.2, 404-427. English Linguistics Szendr ő i, Kriszta. 2003. Narrow and wide focu s interpretation in the acquisition of only-sentences. Poster presented at the 28th Annual Boston Univ ersity Conference on Language Development. Teramura, Hideo. 1991. Nihongo no shintakusu to imi III . Tokyo: Kuroshio Shuppan.
11 Appendix: Sentences used in experiments Note: Each target sentence began with the same phrase ‘ kono ohanashi de wa (in this story)’. speakers to place the topic strong preference of Japanese This was done to control the wa ) at the beginning of a bare sentence. marker ( (NOM: nominative, ACC: accusative, PERS: pe rsonalizer, POL:polite, DIM: diminutive) mo Subject+ hiyoko-san-mo taoru-o hoshi-mashi-ta. 1. chick-PERS-also towel-ACC dry-POL-PAST (in addition to someone else).’ ‘The chick also dried a towel onnnanoko-mo tsukue-o kai-mashi-ta. 2. girl-also desk-ACC buy-POL-PAST ‘The girl also bought a desk (in addition to someone else).’ Niwatori-san-mo osara-o arai-mashi-ta. 3. chicken-PERS-also dish-ACC wash-POL-PAST ‘The chicken also washed a dish (in addition to someone else).’ Object+ mo 1. kauboi-ga ushi-mo tsukamae-mashi-ta. cowboy-NOM cow-also catch-POL-PAST ‘The cowboy caught a cow, too (in addition to other things which he caught).’ otokonoko-ga isu-mo hakobi-mashi-ta. 2. boy-NOM chair-also carry-POL-PAST tion to other things which he bought).’ ‘The boy carried a chair, too (in addi 3. anpanman-ga ninjin-mo nage-mashi-ta. Anpanman-NOM carrot-also throw-POL-PAST ‘Anpanman threw a carrot, t oo (in addition to other thi ngs which he threw).’ Subject+ dake 1. kuma-san-dake kori-o hakobi-mashi-ta. bear-PERS-only ice-ACC carry-POL-PAST ‘Only the bear carried the ice.’ 2. Minnie-chan-dake inu-o fuki-mashi-ta. Minnie-DIM-only dog-ACC wipe-to-dry-POL-PAST ‘Only Minnie dried the dog.’ 3. kobito-san-dake kuruma-o hippari-mashi-ta. dwarf-PERS-only car- ACC pull-POL-PAST
12 ‘Only the dwarf pulled the car.’ Object+ dake 1. osaru-san-ga sofutokurimu-dake tabe-mashi-ta. monkey-PERS-NOM soft ice cream-only eat-POL-PAST ‘The monkey ate only the ice cream.’ 2. omawarisan-ga kyoryu-dake nade-mashi-ta. policeman-NOM dinosaur-only pat-POL-PAST ‘The policeman patted only the dinosaur.’ 3. ojiisan-ga osara-dake tsutsumi-mashi-ta. grandpa-NOM plate-only wrap-POL-PAST ‘Grandpa wrapped only the plate.’ Filler sentences 1. otokonoko-ga baketsu-o kaburi-mashi-ta. boy-NOM bucket-ACC wear-POL-PAST ‘The boy put on the bucket (on his head.)’ hitsuji-san-ga kaigara-o hiroi-mashi-ta. 2. sheep-PERS-NOM seashell-ACC picked-up-POL-PAST ‘The sheet picked up the seashell.’ 3. zo-san-ga torakku-o oshi-mashi-ta. elephant-NOM truck-ACC push-POL-PAST ‘The elephant pushed the truck.’ 4. kuma-san-ga appurupai-o tsukuri-mashi-ta. bear-PERS-NOM apple pie-ACC make-POL-PAST ‘The bear made the apple pie.’
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