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Regular version of the site
Book
The many facets of agreement

Lincom Europa, 2023.

Article
Gender variation in Russian nouns
In press

Магомедова В. Д., Slioussar N.

Voprosy Jazykoznanija. 2022.

Book chapter
A matter of degree? The domain of wetness in a typological perspective

Reznikova T., Panina A. S., Kruglyakova V.

In bk.: The Typology of Physical Qualities. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2022. Ch. 3. P. 57-78.

Working paper
Language and Identity during Language Shift: The Case of the Republic of Karelia after 2018

Mariia Lapina, Daria Oleinik.

Linguistics. WP BRP. НИУ ВШЭ, 2022. No. 112.

Lecture 'What Eye Movements Reveal About Quantifier-Spreading' by Irina Sekerina

On October 7 a lecture on 'What Eye Movements Reveal About Quantifier-Spreading' by Irina Sekerina, College of Staten Island, the City University of New York, took place at HSE. The event was organised by the School of Linguistics.
Abstract:
As early as in the 1960s, Jean Piaget showed that children up to the age of 9-10 make errors interpreting sentences with the universal quantifier "every" when they are paired with pictures of objects in many-to-one correspondence. They reject sentences like "Every rabbit is in a basket" as a description of a scene with three rabbits, each in a basket, along with two extra baskets. Since then extensive language acquisition studies confirmed this finding that received a name of quantifier-spreading (q-spreading) across many languages.

We adapted the traditional sentence-picture verification task to be performed in conjunction with eye-movement recordings using the Visual World Paradigm and examined visual attention associated with q-spreading. English- (N =40; age range 8-12) and Russian-speaking (N =31, age range 5;1-6;11) children performed the task, with every modifying either the figure or ground (every rabbit vs. every basket) of locative scenes. When extra objects/empty containers were present, children performed at chance (53.8-65% correct). Errors involved more fixations to the extra objects/empty containers, time-locked to regions following the quantified noun phrase. Correct responses showed longer RTs, indicating additional processing required for quantifier restriction. Accuracy was uncorrelated with verbal or nonverbal intelligence and weakly associated with age.

Moreover, an identical eye-tracking experiment with bilingual heritage Russian-English adults (N=28, mean age 20) also revealed q-spreading errors (19%). Similar error and eye movement patterns of the two groups implicate a common cognitive source, i.e., the susceptibility of all language learners regardless of the language and age to make errors driven by a default expectation for two sets of objects to be one-to-one correspondence and inattention to sentence structure. The Visual World Paradigm made it possible to reveal that allocation of visual attention is critical in establishing can be the cause of q-spreading errors cross-linguistically.