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Language Acquisition and

Cross-Language Variation
Colin Phillips
Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Laboratory
Department of Linguistics
University of Maryland

Overview of Talks
1. The Unification Problem

3. Abstraction: Sounds to Symbols

2. Building Syntactic Relations

4. Linguistics and Learning

In-situ

1100

Reading Time

1000

900

DeclC
QP
800

700

600
1

Region

Outline

Background
Constraints on pronoun interpretation
Argument structure
Aspectual interpretation
Verbal morphosyntax
Conclusions

The Big Idea (not mine)


Many properties of language seem hard-toobserve, hence hard-to-learn

Typology may inform learning


i. Universals need not be learned
ii. Parametric clusters: hard-to-observe properties
can be linked to easy-to-observe properties
Goal is to use typology to drive a deductive
learning theory which requires simple choices

we no longer consider UG as providing a format for


rule systems and an evaluation metric. Rather, UG consists
of various subsystems of principles [] Many of these
principles are associated with parameters that must be
fixed by experience. The parameters must have the
property that they can be fixed by quite simple evidence,
because this is what is available to the child.
(Chomsky, 1986: 146)
This is a new twist on Jakobsons proposal in
Kindersprache, Aphasie, und allgemeine Lautgesetze
(1941) that language development should track crosslinguistic patterns of markedness

(Tomasello, 2000, Cognition)

Predictions
Universal constraints respected early
Minimally different non-universal constraints
appear at a later age
Areas of parametric consistency also early (if
linked to an easy-to-learn property)
No violation of universals
Language-specific knowledge (relatively) delayed

Notice that
Relation between theories of adult language and
Development
Real-time Computation

- widely accepted
- widely rejected

Outline

Background
Constraints on pronoun interpretation
Argument structure
Aspectual interpretation
Verbal morphosyntax
Conclusions

Children Distinguish Universal and Language


Particular Constraints on Coreference

Nina Kazanina
Colin Phillips

A Constraint on Interpretation
When can a pronoun and a name refer to the same
person?

i.e. when can they corefer

A Constraint on Interpretation
a. While John was reading the book, he ate an apple
b. While he was reading the book, John ate an apple

c. John ate an apple while he was reading the book


d. *He ate an apple while John was reading the book

A Constraint on Interpretation
a. While John was reading the book, he ate an apple
b. While he was reading the book, John ate an apple

c. John ate an apple while he was reading the book


d. *He ate an apple while John was reading the book

A Constraint on Interpretation
a. While John was reading the book, he ate an apple
b. While he was reading the book, John ate an apple

c. John ate an apple while he was reading the book


d. *He ate an apple while John was reading the book

A Constraint on Interpretation
a. While John was reading the book, he ate an apple
b. While he was reading the book, John ate an apple

c. John ate an apple while he was reading the book


d. *He ate an apple while John was reading the book

A Constraint on Interpretation
a. While John was reading the book, he ate an apple
b. While he was reading the book, John ate an apple

c. John ate an apple while he was reading the book


d. *He ate an apple while John was reading the book

Japanese
[Pooh-ga hon-o yonde-iru aida] (kare-wa) ringo-o tabeta.
[(Kare-ga) hon-o yonde-iru aida] Pooh-wa ringo-o tabeta.

Pooh-wa [(kare-ga) hon-o yonde-iru aida] ringo-o tabeta.


*Kare-wa [Pooh-ga hon-o yonde-iru aida] ringo-o tabeta

A Constraint on Interpretation
S
S

S
Comp
while
NP
John

VP

NP
he

S
VP

V
ate

NP
the apple

was reading the book


While John was reading the book, he ate the apple

A Constraint on Interpretation
S
S

S
Comp
while
NP
he

VP

NP
John

S
VP

V
ate

NP
the apple

was reading the book


While he was reading the book, John ate the apple

A Constraint on Interpretation
S
NP
John

VP

VP
V
ate

NP
the apple

Comp
while

S
NP
he

John ate the apple while he was reading the book

VP

was reading the book

A Constraint on Interpretation
S
NP
he

VP

VP
V
ate

NP
the apple

Comp
while

S
NP
John

VP

was reading the book


He ate the apple while John was reading the book

Principle C (informal)
A name cannot be c-commanded by a pronoun that
co-refers with it

Principle C in Other Languages


a. While he was reading the book, John ate an apple
b. *He ate an apple while John was reading the book
French, Italian, German, Greek, Amharic, Hindi, Hebrew,
Spanish, etc.
Mohawk

Principle C in Other Languages


Mohawk
Native American language, Quebec & upstate New York
Free Word Order
Sak
ra-nhwe-s
Sak
MsS-like-hab
Sak likes her dress.

ako-[a]tytawi
FsP-dress

ako-[a]tytawi
ra-nhwe-s
Sak
Sak
ra-nhwe-s

Ra-nhwe-s
Sak
Ra-nhwe-s
Ako-[a]tytawi
Ako-[a]tytawi

Sak
ako-[a]tytawi
ako-[a]tytawi
ra-nhwe-s
Sak

Principle C in Other Languages


Mohawk
Native American language, Quebec & upstate New York
Omission of arguments
Ra-nhwe-s
MsS-like-hab
He likes it.

Principle C in Other Languages


Mohawk
Native American language, Quebec & upstate New York
Discontinuous constituents
Ne kke wa-hi-yna-
ne kwskwes
ne this fact-1sS/MsO-catch-punc ne pig
I caught this pig.

Principle C in Other Languages


Mohawk
Native American language, Quebec & upstate New York
Condition C Effects

Wa-ho-nakuni-
tsi Sak wa-hi-hrewaht-e
fact-NsS/MsO-anger-punc
that Sak fact-1sS/MsO-punish-punc
That I punished Saki made himi mad. (coreference possible)

Wa-shako-hrori-
tsi Sak wa-hi-hrewaht-e
fact-MsS/FsO-tell-punc
that Sak fact-1sS/MsO-punish-punc
Hei told her that I punished Saki.
(coreference impossible)

Language Acquisition
a. While he was reading the book, John ate an apple
b. *He ate an apple while John was reading the book
How could a child ever learn that Principle C applies?
Particularly in a language like Mohawk, where its effects
are rather obscure
Why does Principle C apply in every language?

Language Acquisition
a. While he was reading the book, John ate an apple
b. *He ate an apple while John was reading the book
Universal Principles may not need to be learned - they
may be part of the childs innate knowledge of language
This would explain why the principle is universal
It would also set aside the language acquisition problem
Predicts that young children should know constraints like
Principle C

Language Acquisition

a. While he was in the box, the smurf ate a hamburger

d. *He ate a hamburger while the smurf was in the box

(Crain & McKee, 1985)

English
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)

While Poohi was reading a book, hei ate the apple.


Poohi ate the apple while hei was reading a book.
* Hei ate the apple while Poohi was reading the book.
While hei was reading a book, Poohi ate the apple.

Pr. C sentence
while-sentence

English
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)

While Poohi was reading a book, hei ate the apple.


Poohi ate the apple while hei was reading a book.
* Hei ate the apple while Poohi was reading the book.
While hei was reading a book, Poohi ate the apple.

Pr. C sentence
while-sentence

Russian
(1R)

Poka Poohi chital


knigu, oni s'el yabloko.
while Pooh was reading the book he ate the apple
(2R) Poohi s'el yabloko, poka oni chital
knigu.
Pooh ate the apple while he was reading the book
(3R) * Oni s'el yabloko, poka Poohi
chital
knigu.
Pr. C sentence
he ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book
(4R) * Poka oni chital
knigu, Poohi s'el yabloko. poka-sentence
while he was reading the book Pooh ate the apple

Russian
Backwards Anaphora is allowed in adult Russian:
(5) Rasskaz, kotoryy onai prochitala, rasstroil devochkui.
The story which shei read
upset the girli.

No c-command between the pronoun and r-expression in pokasentences


The poka-constraint is independent of Principle C
The poka-constraint is a discourse-level constraint; applies to
sequences of (agent-) subjects in Russian
Language-specific, but minimally different from Principle C

English

Russian

While Poohi was reading a book, hei ate the apple.


Poohi ate the apple while hei was reading a book.

Hei ate the apple while Poohi was reading the book.

Pr. C sent

While hei was reading a book, Poohi ate the apple.

while-sent

Pr. C sent

*
poka-sent

English-speaking children know Principle C at 3;0

English-speaking children allow Backwards Anaphora in while-sentences


(Crain & McKee 1985)

Methods and Design

50 Russian speaking monolingual children aged 2;8 - 4;11

Truth Value Judgment Task

2x2 between-subject design

4 experimental stories per child

Filler story after each tested story

Truth Value Judgment Task


Child hears stories in which the coreference interpretation
is TRUE
Child then judges the truth of a sentence which is TRUE
under the coreference interpretation
If the child says that the sentence is FALSE, the relevant
interpretation must be blocked by a linguistic constraint.

Truth Value Judgment Task

I know what happened in this story

Hello, Eeyore! I see that


youre reading a book.

What a fine-looking apple.

No, Pooh. You cant eat the apple thats my apple.

Ok, Ill have to eat a banana instead.

Ok, Pooh. Ive finished reading.


Now you can read the book.

Great. Now that Pooh is reading the


book, I can eat this delicious apple.

I shouldnt be such a greedy donkey I should let Pooh eat the apple.

I suppose I have to eat a banana instead.

Here you are, Pooh. You can have the apple.

Oh, Im such a lucky bear! I can read the book,


and I can eat the apple, at the same time.

Apple is eaten up.

OK, that was a story about


Eeyore and Winnie-the-Pooh.
First Eeyore was reading the
book and then Winnie-the-Pooh
was reading the book. I know
one thing that happened...

While Pooh was reading the book, he ate the apple.

OK, that was a story about


Eeyore and Winnie-the-Pooh.
First Eeyore was reading the
book and then Winnie-the-Pooh
was reading the book. I know
one thing that happened...

While he was reading the book, Pooh ate the apple.

OK, that was a story about


Eeyore and Winnie-the-Pooh.
First Eeyore was reading the
book and then Winnie-the-Pooh
was reading the book. I know
one thing that happened...

Pooh ate the apple while he was reading the book.

OK, that was a story about


Eeyore and Winnie-the-Pooh.
First Eeyore was reading the
book and then Winnie-the-Pooh
was reading the book. I know
one thing that happened...

He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

3-4 Year Old English Speakers


a. While Pooh was reading the book, he ate an apple
b. While he was reading the book, Pooh ate an apple

c. Pooh ate an apple while he was reading the book


d. *He ate an apple while Pooh was reading the book

yes!
yes!

yes!
no!

How the Task Works

Child is not being judged


Identical story for all test sentences
Avoids childs yes bias
Story favors the ungrammatical meaning
Plausible denial

Plausible Denial
He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

TRUE - but ungrammatical

He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

Eeyore

Grammatical - but FALSE

clearly FALSE, since it almost happened, but then didnt

5-6 Year Old Russian Speakers


a. While Pooh was reading the book, he ate an apple
b. While he was reading the book, Pooh ate an apple

c. Pooh ate an apple while he was reading the book


d. *He ate an apple while Pooh was reading the book

yes!
no!

yes!
no!

3 Year Old Russian Speakers


a. While Pooh was reading the book, he ate an apple
b. While he was reading the book, Pooh ate an apple

c. Pooh ate an apple while he was reading the book


d. *He ate an apple while Pooh was reading the book

yes!
yes!

yes!
no!

Overall Results

3-Year Olds

English: Crain &McKee, ave. age 3;1


Russian: this study, ave. age 3;2

Interim Conclusion
3-year old Russian children clearly distinguish two
constraints on backwards anaphora which have
very similar surface properties
At age 3, English-speaking and Russian-speaking
children show almost identical judgments - they
respect the universal constraint
Important further questions:
(i) Why do Russian and English differ?
(ii) How do Russian children become adult-like?

Outline

Background
Constraints on pronoun interpretation
Argument structure
Aspectual interpretation
Verbal morphosyntax
Conclusions

Cross-language Variation in
Syntax-Semantics Linking Rules
Meesook Kim
Colin Phillips
Beth Rabbin
Barbara Landau

Learning Verb Syntax


Locative Verbs
Verbs which refer to an action in which a substance moves
to a particular location
pour, spill, stuff, pile, fill, load, cover, decorate, spray,
bandage, soak, sprinkle, spread, etc.
Similar verbs and similar constructions found in very many
languages

Learning Verb Syntax


Locative Verbs
Sally poured the water into the glass.
Sally poured the glass with water.
Sally filled the water into the glass.
Sally filled the glass with water.
Sally loaded the boxes into the truck.
Sally loaded the truck with boxes.

Japanese
John-ga gurasu-ni mizu-o sosoi-da
John-ga mizu-de gurasu-o sosoi-da

figure-frame
ground-frame

John-ga ki-ni raito-o kazatta


John-ga raito-de ki-o kazatta

figure frame
ground frame

John-ga kabe-ni penki-o nutta


John-ga penki-de kabe-o nutta.

figure-frame
ground Frame

Overgeneralization
Well-known errors with locative verbs (Bowerman 1982)
I didn't fill water up to drink it; I filled it up for the flowers
to drink it.
Can I fill some salt in the bear? [= a bear-shaped salt
shaker]
I'm going to cover a screen over me.
(see also experimental data in Gropen et al. 1991a, b)
Why do children make these errors?

Terminology
Sally poured the water into the glass

Terminology
Sally poured the water into the glass
moving object
FIGURE

Terminology
Sally poured the water into the glass
moving object
FIGURE

location
GROUND

Terminology
Sally poured the water into the glass
moving object
FIGURE

location
GROUND

Sally filled the glass with the water

Terminology
Sally poured the water into the glass
moving object
FIGURE

location
GROUND

Sally filled the glass with the water


location
GROUND

moving object
FIGURE

Terminology
Sally poured the water into the glass
Figure Frame

moving object
FIGURE

location
GROUND

Sally filled the glass with the water


Ground Frame

location
GROUND

moving object
FIGURE

Classes of Verbs
Verbs with syntax like pour
dribble, drip, spill, shake, spin, spew, slop, etc.

Verbs with syntax like fill


cover, decorate, bandage, blanket, soak,
drench, adorn, etc.

Verbs with syntax like load


stuff, cram, jam, spray, sow, heap, spread, rub,
dab, plaster, etc.

Classes of Verbs
Verbs with syntax like pour

manner-of-motion

dribble, drip, spill, shake, spin, spew, slop, etc.

Verbs with syntax like fill


cover, decorate, bandage, blanket, soak,
drench, adorn, etc.

Verbs with syntax like load


stuff, cram, jam, spray, sow, heap, spread, rub,
dab, plaster, etc.

Classes of Verbs
Verbs with syntax like pour

manner-of-motion

dribble, drip, spill, shake, spin, spew, slop, etc.

Verbs with syntax like fill

change-of-state

cover, decorate, bandage, blanket, soak,


drench, adorn, etc.

Verbs with syntax like load


stuff, cram, jam, spray, sow, heap, spread, rub,
dab, plaster, etc.

Classes of Verbs
Verbs with syntax like pour

manner-of-motion

dribble, drip, spill, shake, spin, spew, slop, etc.

Verbs with syntax like fill

change-of-state

cover, decorate, bandage, blanket, soak,


drench, adorn, etc.

Verbs with syntax like load

manner-of-motion
& change-of-state

stuff, cram, jam, spray, sow, heap, spread, rub,


dab, plaster, etc.

Learning Syntax from Semantics


VP
Manner-of
-motion

NP
PP
figure ground
VP

Change-of
-state
V

SEMANTICS

Linking Rules

Figure
Frame

Ground
Frame

NP
PP
ground figure
SYNTAX

Learning
Linking Rules can be used to bootstrap
verb syntax or verb meanings, provided that
Syntax-Semantics Linking Rules are
consistent across languages (i.e. verbs with
same meaning should have same syntax across
all languages)
innate (i.e. children know the connections from
the outset)

Assumption: linking generalizations are universal


Shared by opposing accounts of learning verb syntax &
semantics

But Languages Vary


English
*John decorated the flowers in the room.
John decorated the room with flowers.

But Languages Vary


English
*John decorated the flowers in the room.
John decorated the room with flowers.

Change-of-state
--> Ground Frame

But Languages Vary


English
*John decorated the flowers in the room. Change-of-state
--> Ground Frame
John decorated the room with flowers.
Korean
Yumi-ka ccoch-ul
pang-ey cangsikha-yess-ta
Nom flowers-Acc room-Loc decorate-Past-Dec
John decorated the flowers in the room.
Yumi-ka pang-ul
ccoch-ulo cangsikha-yess-ta
Nom room-Acc flowers-with decorate-Past-Dec
John decorated the room with flowers.

But Languages Vary


English
*John decorated the flowers in the room. Change-of-state
--> Ground Frame
John decorated the room with flowers.
Korean
Yumi-ka ccoch-ul
pang-ey cangsikha-yess-ta
Nom flowers-Acc room-Loc decorate-Past-Dec
John decorated the flowers in the room.
Yumi-ka pang-ul
ccoch-ulo cangsikha-yess-ta
Nom room-Acc flowers-with decorate-Past-Dec
John decorated the room with flowers.

But Languages Vary


English
*John decorated the flowers in the room. Change-of-state
--> Ground Frame
John decorated the room with flowers.
Korean
Yumi-ka ccoch-ul
pang-ey cangsikha-yess-ta
Nom flowers-Acc room-Loc decorate-Past-Dec
John decorated the flowers in the room.
Yumi-ka pang-ul
ccoch-ulo cangsikha-yess-ta
Nom room-Acc flowers-with decorate-Past-Dec
John decorated the room with flowers.
Korean is more liberal
than English

But Languages Vary


English
John piled the books on the shelf.
John piled the shelf with books.

But Languages Vary


English
John piled the books on the shelf.
John piled the shelf with books.
Korean
Yumi-ka chaek-lul
chaeksang-ey ssa-ass-ta.
Nom book-Acc
table-Loc
pile-Past-Dec
Yumi piled books on the table.

But Languages Vary


English
John piled the books on the shelf.
John piled the shelf with books.
Korean
Yumi-ka chaek-lul
chaeksang-ey
Nom book-Acc
table-Loc
Yumi piled books on the table.
*Yumi-ka chaeksang-lul chaek-elo
Nom table-Acc
books-with
Yumi piled the table with books.

ssa-ass-ta.
pile-Past-Dec
ssa-ass-ta.
pile-Past-Dec

But Languages Vary


English
John piled the books on the shelf.
John piled the shelf with books.
Korean
Yumi-ka chaek-lul
chaeksang-ey
Nom book-Acc
table-Loc
Yumi piled books on the table.
*Yumi-ka chaeksang-lul chaek-elo
Nom table-Acc
books-with
Yumi piled the table with books.

ssa-ass-ta.
pile-Past-Dec
ssa-ass-ta.
pile-Past-Dec

Korean is more
restrictive than English

A Problem for Learners?


If syntax-semantics Linking Rules are not uniform
across languages, then how can they help learners?
If each language had different Linking Rules,
would this be any use to a child?

Cross-Language Survey
Survey I
English
Korean
French
Japanese
Chinese
Thai

Survey II
Turkish
Luganda
Hindi
Hebrew
Malay
Arabic

Italian
Yoruba
Polish
Ewe
Japanese Russian
French English
Brazilian Portuguese
Spanish (Argentinian)
Spanish (Castilian)

Cross-Language Survey
Survey I
English
Korean
French
Japanese
Chinese
Thai

Survey II
Turkish
Luganda
Hindi
Hebrew
Malay
Arabic
Less detailed
classification used
(~15 verbs)

Italian
Yoruba
Polish
Ewe
Japanese Russian
French English
Brazilian Portuguese
Spanish (Argentinian)
Spanish (Castilian)

Cross-Language Survey
Survey I
English
Korean
French
Japanese
Chinese
Thai

Survey II
Turkish
Luganda
Hindi
Hebrew
Malay
Arabic
More detailed
classification used
(~30 verbs)

Italian
Yoruba
Polish
Ewe
Japanese Russian
French English
Brazilian Portuguese
Spanish (Argentinian)
Spanish (Castilian)

Consistent Properties...

A Universal
English
John poured the water into the glass.
*John poured the glass with water.

Spanish
Juan
John
*Juan
John

vert agua en el vaso.


poured water into the glass
vert
el vaso con agua.
poured the glass with water

A Universal
English
John poured the water into the glass.
*John poured the glass with water.

Hebrew
Danny
shafax
mayim
John
poured
water
John poured water into the glass.
*Danny
shafax
et ha-kos
John
poured
Acc the glass
*John poured the glass with water.

letox
into

ha-kos.
the glass

be-mayin.
with water

A Universal
English
John poured the water into the glass.
*John poured the glass with water.

Japanese
Taro-ga
mizu-o
baketu-ni
Nom water-Acc
bucket-Loc
Taro poured water into a bucket.
*Taro-ga baketu-o
mizu-de
Nom bucket-Acc water-with
*Taro poured a bucket with water.

sosoi-da.
pour-Past
sosoi-da.
pour-Past

A Universal
VP
Manner-of
-motion

SEMANTICS

Figure
Frame

NP
PP
figure ground

SYNTAX

Consistent Variation...

A Two-way Split
English
*He decorated lights on the tree
He decorated the tree with lights

Korean
He decorated lights on the tree
He decorated the tree with lights

French
Spanish
Malay
Arabic
Hebrew

Chinese
Japanese
Thai
Turkish
Hindi
Luganda

Serial Verbs (Verb Compounds)


Japanese
John-ga
Bill-o osi-taosi-ta.
Nom Acc push-topple-Past
John pushed Bill down.
Igbo (W. Africa)
Adha
si-ri
anu
ri-e
Ada
cook-asp
meat eat-asp
Ada cooked the meat and ate it. (Igbo)

Easy to observe!

A Parameter
English
*He decorated lights on the tree
He decorated the tree with lights

Korean
He decorated lights on the tree
He decorated the tree with lights

French
Spanish
Malay
Arabic
Hebrew

Chinese
Japanese
Thai
Turkish
Hindi
Luganda

A Parameter
English
*He decorated lights on the tree
He decorated the tree with lights

Korean
He decorated lights on the tree
He decorated the tree with lights

French
Spanish
Malay
Arabic
Hebrew

Chinese
Japanese
Thai
Turkish
Hindi
Luganda

Allow Serial
Verbs

A Parameter
English
*He decorated lights on the tree
He decorated the tree with lights

Korean
He decorated lights on the tree
He decorated the tree with lights

French
Spanish
Malay
Arabic
Hebrew

Chinese
Japanese
Thai
Turkish
Hindi
Luganda

Dont Allow
Serial Verbs

Allow Serial
Verbs

A Parameter
VP

NP
PP
figure ground
VP

Change-of
-state
V

SEMANTICS

Figure
Frame

Ground
Frame

NP
PP
ground figure
SYNTAX

A Parameter
VP
Serial
Verbs?

NP
PP
figure ground
VP

Change-of
-state
V

SEMANTICS

Figure
Frame

Ground
Frame

NP
PP
ground figure
SYNTAX

Quantitatively...
Sample of ~2000 judgments in 20 languages
A small number of principles & parameters allows
us to predict ~90% of judgments
In some classes accuracy is much higher: basic
Figure class, Ground class, etc.
In some classes accuracy is somewhat lower at
present: Ground Alternator, Pure Alternator

Overgeneralization
Well-known errors with locative verbs (Bowerman 1982)
I didn't fill water up to drink it; I filled it up for the flowers
to drink it.
Can I fill some salt in the bear? [= a bear-shaped salt
shaker]
I'm going to cover a screen over me.
(see also experimental data in Gropen et al. 1991a, b)
Why do children make these errors?

Elicited Production Study


Adult and child (age 3-4) speakers of English &
Korean (10 in each group)
Describing 30 videotaped scenes - 14 verbs
(video clips preceded by a contrasting scene, to
encourage production of full V NP PP structure)
Are same errors found as in spontaneous speech?
If so, do we find evidence for mis-set parameter?

Elicited Production Study


300 locative structures elicited from each group
Adult speech is fully grammatical

Restricted Errors
Errors with fill were extremely common; few
otherwise

Ground Verbs (children)


On other change-of-state verbs, English & Korean children
showed very different production
Both groups know native language syntax for these verbs

Successes & Failures


No evidence that errors due to mis-set parameter
Korean 2-year olds use serial verb constructions in
spontaneous speech (Kim & Phillips, 1998); could
support early knowledge of change-of-state verbs
Prevalence of Fill errors remains puzzling

Interim Conclusions
Knowing the meaning of a verb does not predict
the verbs syntax, BUT
Knowing the meaning of a verb, together with
further syntactic knowledge about the language,
does predict the verbs syntax rather well
Typological research contribute to explanation of
(i) how linking rules are available in principle, and
(ii) how children succeed in practice
Many questions remain unanswered...

Outline

Background
Constraints on pronoun interpretation
Argument structure
Aspectual interpretation
Verbal morphosyntax
Conclusions

Developing Understanding
of Events and Aspect
Nina Kazanina
Colin Phillips

Completion Entailments
Simple Past
John-ga ie-o tate-ta
Past Progressive
John-ga ie-o tate-tei-ta
Frame of Reference + past/progressive
Mary-ga NY-ni ryokoo-si-teiru aida, John-ga ie-o tateteita / tateta

Imperfective Paradox
(1)

a. Mary built a house.


b. Mary was building a house.

Imperfective Paradox
(1)

a. Mary built a house.


b. Mary was building a house.
How come we can say (1b) when no house
gets built? Is build a house about building walls?

Imperfective Paradox
(1)

a. Mary built a house.


b. Mary was building a house.
How come we can say (1b) when no house
gets built? Is build a house about building walls?

(2)

a. Mary drove from DC to Boston.


b. Mary was driving from DC to Boston.
Is drive to Boston about getting to NYC?

What does the IMP/PROG denote?

a. Mary was drawing an arc.

a. Mary was drawing an arc.

b. Mary was drawing a circle.

a. Mary was drawing an arc.

b. Mary was drawing a circle.

c. Mary was drawing a face.

d. Mary was drawing a bike.

Parsons (1989)
Present activities are the whole story
Allows both complete & incomplete events in the
denotation of the verb: "a verb such as 'cross' is true
of all crossings independently of whether they
culminate."
An eventuality may
culminate
Cul(e,t) - e is an event that culminates at time t

hold for a while


Hold(e,t) - e is an event which is in progress (in its
developmental portion) at t

Dowty-Landman Approach

An incomplete event in the actual world w is related to a


complete version of the same event in a certain possible world
w
(Dowty 1979, Landman 1991, Portner 1998 among others)

Dowty (1979): [PROG ] is true at I and w iff there is an interval I such


that I I [and I is not a final subinterval of I] and there is an inertia world
w for which is true at I and w, and w is exactly w at all times preceding
and [including] I

Possible world w

Actual world w

IMP/PROG
DC
NY

Boston

DC
NY

Research Question:
Do children know how to deal with the
IMP Paradox?

Russian: Perfective vs. Imperfective


Rus Perfective Eng simple past
refers to completed events
postroil dom built a house
sobral kartinku do a puzzle

Rus Imperfective Eng past progressive


can refer to completed or incomplete events
used to describe ongoing events (past, present or
future)
stroil dom
was building a house
sobiral kartinku was doing a puzzle

Previous Research
Previous findings suggest early mastery of aspect
Spontaneous Speech:
Children produce both aspectual forms from a very
young age (< 2 years) (Brun et al., 1999; Gvozdev,
1961; Bar-Shalom&Snyder 2000)

Previous Research

Picture-matching task

Malchik chitalI knigu.


The boy was reading the book.

(Vinnitskaya&Wexler, 2001)

Malchik prochitalP knigu.


The boy read the book.

3-4 year olds appear to use IMP vs. PERF to correctly distinguish
ongoing from completed events

Our Experiments

Do Russian children appropriately make


use of aspectual morphology to distinguish
completed from incomplete events?

Creation Experiment
Tested verbs were Creation verbs
(enable a clear-cut difference between complete and
incomplete events)

4 stories per child, 44 trials total


Within-subject design
11 Russian monolingual children, aged 3-5, tested in
Moscow preschools

Creation Expt: Design


In each story, an event occurs at 3 landmarks:
a flower-bed, a castle and a tree
In each story, an event occurs
(i) completely
(ii) incompletely
(iii) not at all

randomized order

Children were asked where an event happened, using


PERF and IMP verbs; encouraged to give more than one
location as answer

Creation Expt: Scenarios


Monkey
obezyanka

assemble
sobrala/sobirala

a smurf
gnomika

Lion
lvenok

build
postroil/stroil

a house
domik

Tiger
tigrenok

make
sostavil/sostavlyal

a puzzle
kartinku

Puppy
shenok

mould
vylepil/lepil

a bear
medvedya

Creation Expt: Scenarios


Monkey
obezyanka

assemble
sobrala/sobirala

a smurf
gnomika

Lion
lvenok

build
postroil/stroil

a house
domik

Tiger
tigrenok

make
sostavil/sostavlyal

a puzzle
kartinku

Puppy
shenok

mould
vylepil/lepil

a bear
medvedya

A road with 3 landmarks: a flower-bed, a castle and a tree. There


are parts of a smurf at each location.

A monkey starts her journey down the road.

The monkey arrives at the flower-bed.


These are nice flowers. Oh, look there are the pieces of a smurf
down here. Let me try to revive this guy.

OK, the body goes on top of the legs, whats next...

A bug bites the monkey.


Ouch, that hurts!!! I dont want to stay here any longer. Im going to
leave all of it like this and continue down the road.

The monkey reaches the castle.


Oh, look, what a beautiful castle! And there are pieces of a smurf
next to it. Let me try this one too!

OK, the body goes on top of the legs, whats next...

A bug bites the monkey.


Oh no, a bug bit me again! Why am I so unlucky today?
No, this time, Im going to finish this thing anyway!

The monkey assembles the smurf completely and continues along


the road.

The monkey reaches the tree.


What a great tree, its so nice to sit here. And there are some smurf
pieces here again. But I guess I have to go home now.

The scene at the end of the story.

INCOMPLETE

The scene at the end of the story.

INCOMPLETE

COMPLETE
The scene at the end of the story.

INCOMPLETE

COMPLETE
The scene at the end of the story.

Gde obezyanka sobrala gnomika?


assemble-PERF
Where did the monkey assemble the smurf?

ALL CHILDREN

100%

Gde obezyanka sobrala gnomika?


assemble-PERF
Where did the monkey assemble the smurf?

Gde obezyanka sobirala gnomika?


assemble-IMP
Where was the monkey assembling the smurf?

ADULTLIKE children vs.

100%
100%
Gde obezyanka sobirala gnomika?
assemble-IMP
Where was the monkey assembling the smurf?

ADULTLIKE group vs. NON-ADULTLIKE group

8%
100%
100%
100%
Gde obezyanka sobirala gnomika?
assemble-IMP
Where was the monkey assembling the smurf?

Creation Expt: Results from Children


Adultlike group
(N=5)

PERF

IMP

Non-adultlike group
(N=6)

Creation Expt: Results from Children


Adultlike group
(N=5)

PERF

IMP

20/20 acceptances

Non-adultlike group
(N=6)

Creation Expt: Results from Children


Adultlike group
(N=5)

Non-adultlike group
(N=6)

PERF

IMP

20/20 acceptances

22/24 rejections

Interruptions
Interruptions occur twice per story; allows
independent test of ability to give 2 locations
as answer:

Interruptions
Interruptions occur twice per story; allows
independent test of ability to give 2 locations
as answer:
Gde obezyanku ukusil zhuk?
Where was the monkey stung by a bug?

Interruptions
Interruptions occur twice per story; allows
independent test of ability to give 2 locations
as answer:
Gde obezyanku ukusil zhuk?
Where was the monkey stung by a bug?

All children answered with 2 locations

Where we are...
Past incomplete
now
build a smurf

sobiralaI gnomika
was building a smurf

Where we are...
Present ongoing

Past incomplete
now

build a smurf

build a smurf

sobiraetI gnomika
is building a smurf

now

sobiralaI gnomika
was building a smurf

Where we are...
Present ongoing

Past incomplete
now

build a smurf

build a smurf

sobiraetI gnomika
is building a smurf

now

sobiralaI gnomika
was building a smurf

Completion Hypothesis: children require possibility


of completion in the actual world

What is the cause of childrens error on IMP?

Completion Hypothesis: children require possibility


of completion in the actual world

(A) Presence of the Object is needed?


Creation verbs raise a separate problem:
no object in the scene unless the event is
completed
(e.g., Parsons notion of Incomplete Objects)

What is the cause of childrens error on IMP?


(A)

Children require the presence


of the object in the scene

Completion Hypothesis: children require possibility


of completion in the actual world

(A) Presence of the Object is needed?


Creation verbs raise a separate problem:
no object in the scene unless the event is
completed
(e.g., Parsons notion of Incomplete Objects)
Change-of-state verbs (e.g. color in a flower) do not have
this problem - the object (a flower) is present throughout the
event independent of its completion

(A) Presence of the Object is needed?


Creation verbs raise a separate problem:
no object in the scene unless the event is
completed
(e.g., Parsons notion of Incomplete Objects)
Change-of-state verbs (e.g. color in a flower) do not have
this problem - the object (a flower) is present throughout the
event independent of its completion
Will the error from the Creation experiment persist with
Change-of-state verbs? If children again reject IMP with
incomplete events, then the problem is not (solely) due to the
absence of the object in the scene

Change-of-state Expt: Design


Same task as in the Creation expt
34 children age 2;7 - 6;0
4 stories per child
Run in Moscow & Moscow region in Jan02 & Aug02

Change-of-state Expt: Scenarios

Tigrenok
Tiger

Zaychik
Rabbit

napolnyalI/napolnilP
fill

stakanchik
a glass

Shenok
Puppy

razvorachivalI/razvernulP
unwrap

podarok
a gift

Kotenok
Kitty

perevorachivalI/perevernulP
turn over

zakrashivalI/zakrasilP
color in

kartinku
a picture

cvetok
a flower


INCOMPLETE

COMPLETE

Change-of-state Expt: Results from Children


Adultlike group
(N=13, mean age = 5;2)

PERF

IMP

88% acceptance
(38/43 trials)

Change-of-state Expt: Results from Children


Adultlike group

Non-adultlike group

(N=13, mean age = 5;2)

(N=16, mean age = 4;2)

PERF

IMP

88% acceptance
(38/43 trials)

86% rejection
(49/57)

Change-of-state Expt: Summary of Results


PERF - 92% correct
IMP - 52% correct
Mean age
Adultlike group

N=13

5;2

(accept IMP for INC in 88% trials)

Non-adultlike group

N=16

(accept IMP for INC in 14% trials)

(remaining 5 children - hard to classify


due to inconsistent responses)

4;2

What is the cause of childrens error on IMP?


(A)

Children require the presence


of the object in the scene
(error due to Creation verbs)

What is the cause of childrens error on IMP?


(A)

Children require the presence


of the object in the scene
(error due to Creation verbs)

NO: same error on IMP in


the Change-of-state as
in Creation Expt

Where we are...
Past incomplete / conative
now
color in a flower

zakrashivalaI cvetok
was coloring in a flower

Where we are...
Present ongoing

Past incomplete / conative


now

color in a flower

color in a flower

zakrashivaetI cvetok
is coloring in a flower

Non-counterfactual

now

zakrashivalaI cvetok
was coloring in a flower

Counterfactual

Where we are...
Present ongoing

The event is counterfactual iff


- not completed by now or
- cannot be completed in the future

Past incomplete / conative


now

color in a flower

color in a flower

zakrashivaetI cvetok
is coloring in a flower

Non-counterfactual

now

zakrashivalaI cvetok
was coloring in a flower

Counterfactual

Where we are...
Present ongoing

The event is counterfactual iff


- not completed by now or
- cannot be completed in the future

Past incomplete / conative


now

color in a flower

color in a flower

zakrashivaetI cvetok
is coloring in a flower

Non-counterfactual

now

zakrashivalaI cvetok
was coloring in a flower

Counterfactual

Complete Event Hypothesis: children fail to license


IMP with counterfactual events

Parsons (1989)
(3)

a. Mary was coloring in the flower.


b. (e)[Coloring(e) & Subject(e,Mary) &
Object(e, the flower) & (t)[ t<now & Hold(e,t)]]

(4)

a. Mary is coloring in the flower.


b. (e)[Coloring(e) & Subject(e,Mary) &
Object(e, the flower) & (t)[ t=now & Hold(e,t)]]

Children accept the imperfective with present ongoing events,


but reject it with past ongoing events =>
unexpected for Parsons theory

Parsons (1989)
(3)

a. Mary was coloring in the flower.


b. (e)[Coloring(e) & Subject(e,Mary) &
Object(e, the flower) & (t)[ t<now & Hold(e,t)]]

(4)

a. Mary is coloring in the flower.


b. (e)[Coloring(e) & Subject(e,Mary) &
Object(e, the flower) & (t)[ t=now & Hold(e,t)]]

Children accept the imperfective with present ongoing events,


but reject it with past ongoing events =>
unexpected for Parsons theory

What is the cause of childrens error on IMP?


(A)

Children require the presence


of the object in the scene
(error due to Creation verbs)

NO: same error on IMP in


the Change-of-state as
in Creation Expt

Complete Event Hypothesis: children fail to license


IMP with counterfactual events

What is the cause of childrens error on IMP?


(A)

Children require the presence


of the object in the scene
(error due to Creation verbs)

(B)

Children mistakenly equate the


semantics of Imperfective to
that of Perfective (IMP = PERF)

NO: same error on IMP in


the Change-of-state as
in Creation Expt

Complete Event Hypothesis: children fail to license


IMP with counterfactual events

Children: semantics IMP = semantics PERF ?

Children fail to make distinction between the semantics of IMP


and PERF in one particular situation - with conative (past
permanently incomplete) events (as in the Creation & Change-ofstate experiments)

Maybe they will distinguish semantics of IMP from that of PERF in


some other situation

Ongoing-success Experiment
BOY
GIRL

water the flowers

bike

clean the table

Ongoing-success Experiment
BOY
GIRL

water the flowers

bike

clean the table

Adult
Response

(i) Poka malchik polival cvety, devochka vytiralaI stol.


While the boy was watering flowers, the girl was cleaning the table.

YES

Ongoing-success Experiment
BOY
GIRL

water the flowers

bike

clean the table

Adult
Response

(i) Poka malchik polival cvety, devochka vytiralaI stol.


While the boy was watering flowers, the girl was cleaning the table.

YES

(ii) Poka malchik polival cvety, devochka vyterlaP stol.


While the boy was watering flowers, the girl cleaned the table.

NO

Ongoing-success Experiment
BOY
GIRL

water the flowers

bike

clean the table


evaluation of Matrix event

Adult
Response

(i) Poka malchik polival cvety, devochka vytiralaI stol.


While the boy was watering flowers, the girl was cleaning the table.

YES

(ii) Poka malchik polival cvety, devochka vyterlaP stol.


While the boy was watering flowers, the girl cleaned the table.

NO

Ongoing-success Experiment
BOY

water the flowers

GIRL

bike

clean the table


evaluation of Matrix event

Adult
Response

(i) Poka malchik polival cvety, devochka vytiralaI stol.


While the boy was watering flowers, the girl was cleaning the table.
(ii) Poka malchik polival cvety, devochka vyterlaP stol.
While the boy was watering flowers, the girl cleaned the table.
If children behave like adults =>
they know some semantic difference between IMP & PERF

YES

NO

Ongoing-success Expt: Design


Truth Value Judgment Task (Crain&Thornton 1998)
12 children age 3 - 5;10; 4 stories each
Each story was such that
IMP sentence is correct
PERF sentence is wrong
39 trials total:

19 trials IMP
20 trials - PERF

Ongoing Experiment Results

39 trials total: 20 trials - PERF, 19 trials - IMP

What is the cause of childrens error on IMP?


(A)

Children require the presence


of the object in the scene
(error due to Creation verbs)

(B)

Children mistakenly equate the


semantics of Imperfective to
that of Perfective (IMP = PERF)

NO: same error on IMP in


the Change-of-state as
in Creation Expt

NO: distinguish IMP from


PERF in the ongoingsuccess situation

Complete Event Hypothesis: children fail to license


IMP with counterfactual events

What is the cause of childrens error on IMP?


(A)

Children require the presence


of the object in the scene
(error due to Creation verbs)

(B)

Children mistakenly equate the


semantics of Imperfective to
that of Perfective (IMP = PERF)

NO: same error on IMP in


the Change-of-state as
in Creation Expt

NO: distinguish IMP from


PERF in the ongoingsuccess situation

Complete Event Hypothesis: children fail to license


IMP with counterfactual events

IMP(A) the imperfective form of the


predicate A with a denotation - is true in a given event e iff

Landman (1992):

(i) E, such that e E, E (E complete event/event type)


(ii) E CON (e, w)

IMP(A) the imperfective form of the


predicate A with a denotation - is true in a given event e iff

Landman (1992):

(i) E, such that e E, E (E complete event/event type)


(ii) E CON (e, w)
e - non-counterfactual

e - counterfactual

CON (e, w) = w

CON (e, w) w

The actual world is enough to


find E

Need to appeal to possible


worlds to find E

IMP(A) the imperfective form of the


predicate A with a denotation - is true in a given event e iff

Landman (1992):

(i) E, such that e E, E (E complete event/event type)


(ii) E CON (e, w)
e - non-counterfactual

e - counterfactual

CON (e, w) = w

CON (e, w) w

The actual world is enough to


find E

Need to appeal to possible


worlds to find E

Complete Event Hypothesis:


children fail to license IMP with counterfactual events...

IMP(A) the imperfective form of the


predicate A with a denotation - is true in a given event e iff

Landman (1992):

(i) E, such that e E, E (E complete event/event type)


(ii) E CON (e, w)
e - non-counterfactual

e - counterfactual

CON (e, w) = w

CON (e, w) w

The actual world is enough to


find E

Need to appeal to possible


worlds to find E

Complete Event Hypothesis:


children fail to license IMP with counterfactual events...

because they fail to properly deal with non-actual worlds

Complete Event Hypothesis


Children incorrectly reject IMP in conative situations
(Creation & Change-of-state expts)
Okolo dereva Obezyanka perevorachivalaI kartinku.
At the tree Monkey was turning over a picture.
now

turn over the picture

Fail if counterfactual e
(no E can be found in the actual world)

Complete Event Hypothesis

Children correctly accept IMP in the ongoing-success situation


Poka malchik polival cvety, devochka vytiralaI stol
While the boy was watering flowers, the girl was cleaning the table.

BOY
GIRL

watering the flowers

now

biking

cleaning the table

E
Succeed if non-counterfactual e
(E can be found in the actual world)

Follow-up:
Poka malchik polival cvety, devochka vytiralaI stol
While the boy was watering flowers, the girl was cleaning the table.
Ongoing-success
BOY
GIRL

watering the flowers

biking

cleaning the table

Ongoing-failure
BOY
GIRL

watering the flowers

biking

cleaning the table

Follow-up:
Poka malchik polival cvety, devochka vytiralaI stol
While the boy was watering flowers, the girl was cleaning the table.
Ongoing-success
BOY
GIRL

watering the flowers

biking

cleaning the table

Ongoing-failure
BOY
GIRL

watering the flowers

biking

cleaning the table

Follow-up:
Poka malchik polival cvety, devochka vytiralaI stol
While the boy was watering flowers, the girl was cleaning the table.
Ongoing-success
BOY
GIRL

watering the flowers

biking

cleaning the table

Ongoing-failure
BOY
GIRL

watering the flowers

biking

cleaning the table

Follow-up:
Poka malchik polival cvety, devochka vytiralaI stol
While the boy was watering flowers, the girl was cleaning the table.
Ongoing-success
BOY
GIRL

watering the flowers

biking

cleaning the table

NON-counterfactual
Children accepted IMP

Ongoing-failure
BOY
GIRL

watering the flowers

biking

cleaning the table

Counterfactual
accept/reject IMP???

Russian children

Conative

do the puzzle

Ongoing-success

BOY
GIRL

water flowers

now

clean the table

Ongoing-failure

BOY
GIRL

water flowers
clean the table

now

Russian children

Conative

do the puzzle

Ongoing-success

BOY
GIRL

water flowers

now

clean the table

Ongoing-failure

BOY
GIRL

water flowers
clean the table

now

Complete Event
Hypothesis

Russian children

Conative

do the puzzle

Ongoing-success

BOY
GIRL

water flowers

now

clean the table

Ongoing-failure

BOY
GIRL

water flowers
clean the table

now

Adult Dutch

conative reading is NOT available


# Het meisje maakte een puzzel (bij het huis).
The girl was doing a puzzle (at the tree).

do the puzzle

ongoing reading IS available

Terwijl Hans de bloemen aan het water geven was, maakte Maria de tafel schoon.
While the boy was watering the flowers, the girl did/was doing the puzzle.

BOY
GIRL

water flowers
now

clean the table

BOY

GIRL

water flowers
clean the table

now

Rus adults

Conative

Dutch
simple past =
Rus children

do the puzzle

Ongoing-success

BOY
GIRL

water flowers
now

clean the table

Ongoing-failure

BOY
GIRL

water flowers
clean the table

now

What may have looked at first like a typological


anomaly, may turn out to reflect a form of
parametric learning, moving from the Dutch
state to the adult Russian state

Outline

Background
Constraints on pronoun interpretation
Argument structure
Aspectual interpretation
Verbal morphosyntax
Conclusions

Verbal Morphosyntax

Cross-Language Contrasts at Age 2


Root Infinitives in spontaneous speech of 2-year
olds in many languages; alternate with finite forms
doggie wants snack
Hans it Brot

doggie want snack


Hans Brot essen

Striking regularities in distribution of Root


Infinitives across languages (update of Phillips,
1995)

Cross-Language Contrasts at Age 2


Root Infinitives absent from childrens whquestions and topicalizations in German, Dutch,
Swedish, etc.
These are languages where the adult language
disallows embedded infinitival wh-clauses

Cross-Language Contrasts at Age 2


Root Infinitives very rare in sentences with overt
subjects in some languages

These are languages where the adult language


disallows ECM (e.g., I want John to leave); e.g.
Dutch, German, Russian
In languages which allow ECM, children produce
overt subjects with RIs; e.g. English, Danish,
Icelandic

Cross-Language Contrasts at Age 2


Although the cause of RIs remains unclear, the
distribution of RIs across languages closely tracks
the language-specific syntax of infinitival clauses
Why does language-specific knowledge appear so
rapidly in this case?
Surface syntax is easy-to-observe

Outline

Background
Constraints on pronoun interpretation
Argument structure
Aspectual interpretation
Verbal morphosyntax
Conclusions

Conclusions
Cross-language typology can help to predict
developmental trajectories imperfectly
Must be combined with an independent
understanding of what a child is equipped to easily
observe in language input
Deep typology is not a replacement for
observational learning; it enhances observational
learning by making observations more powerful
In this light, developmental trajectories could be
projected rather more accurately

Unification Problem

??

Overview of Talks
1. The Unification Problem

3. Abstraction: Sounds to Symbols

2. Building Syntactic Relations

4. Linguistics and Learning

In-situ

1100

Reading Time

1000

900

DeclC
QP
800

700

600
1

Region

Prospects
The Unification Problem is becoming a problem, not a mystery
We can generate detailed hypotheses about real-time linguistic
computation and test them
We can probe different levels of representation of the same
external events
We can draw close connections between theories of the adult
state and theories of development

with help from ...


University of Maryland

University of Delaware

Shani Abada
Sachiko Aoshima
Daniel Garcia-Pedrosa
Ana Gouvea
Nina Kazanina
Moti Lieberman
Leticia Pablos
David Poeppel
Beth Rabbin
Silke Urban
Carol Whitney
Masaya Yoshida

Evniki Edgar
Bowen Hui
Baris Kabak
Tom Pellathy
Dave Schneider
Kaia Wong
Alec Marantz, MIT
Elron Yellin, MIT

National Science Foundation


James S. McDonnell Foundation
Human Frontiers Science Program
Japan Science & Technology Program
Kanazawa Institute of Technology

http://www.ling.umd.edu/colin
colin@umd.edu

Experimental Results: Breakdown by Condition

FA1:
While Poohi was reading a book, hei ate the apple.
FA2:
Poohi ate the apple while hei was reading a book.
Pr_C:
* Hei ate the apple while Poohi was reading the book.
Poka-sent: *While hei was reading a book, Poohi ate the apple.

How the Task Works

Child is not being judged


Identical story for all test sentences
Avoids childs yes bias
Story favors the ungrammatical meaning
Plausible denial

Plausible Denial
He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

Plausible Denial
He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

Plausible Denial
He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

TRUE - but ungrammatical

Plausible Denial
He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

TRUE - but ungrammatical

He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

Plausible Denial
He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

TRUE - but ungrammatical

He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

Eeyore

Plausible Denial
He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

TRUE - but ungrammatical

He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

Eeyore

Grammatical - but FALSE

Plausible Denial
He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

TRUE - but ungrammatical

He ate the apple while Pooh was reading the book.

Eeyore

Grammatical - but FALSE

clearly FALSE, since it almost happened, but then didnt

Great. Now that Pooh is reading the


book, I can eat this delicious apple.

I shouldnt be such a greedy donkey I should let Pooh eat the apple.

I suppose I have to eat a banana instead.