Rutgers Linguistics Colloq: Attitude Problems 4/26

Rutgers Linguistics Colloq: Attitude Problems 4/26

The time for the last Rutgers linguistics colloquium of this semester has arrived!
It will take place the upcoming Friday, April 26th, and the speaker is Valentine Hacquard, professor of Linguistics at the University of Maryland. The title of the talk is “Attitude Problems”, and the abstract can be found below.
The colloquium will take place in the seminar room of the Linguistics department (Room 108, 18 Seminary Place, New Brunswick/College Ave Campus), starting 3 pm.
Abstract:

Attitude problems

This talk examines asymmetries in the semantics of attitude verbs and in their acquisition. An extensive number of studies show that young children display difficulty with verbs like think but not want. This difficulty is often interpreted as reflecting an asymmetry in conceptual development: while the desire concept is acquired early, children fail to grasp the concept of belief until their fourth birthday. This talk explores an alternative explanation for the asymmetry in children’s understanding of think and want, which doesn’t rely on a fundamental change in conceptual structure. Based on results from our lab, I will argue instead that asymmetries in the syntax, semantics and pragmatics of these verbs conspire to give rise to the asymmetry in their acquisition.