Emmanuel Chemla , Brian Buccola and Isabelle Dautriche (2017). “Connecting content and logical words”. Ms. LSCP.

Updated: February 2018

Full paper: pdf

Experimental material Data in csv and R script of analysis.

Abstract: Content words - e.g., nouns and adjectives - are generally connected: there are no gaps in their denotations; no noun means 'table or shoe' or 'animal or house'. We explore a formulation of connectedness which is applicable to content and logical words alike, and which compares well with the classic notion of monotonicity for quantifiers. On a first inspection, logical words satisfy this generalized version of the connectedness property at least as well as content words do - that is, both in terms of lexicons (with a study very narrowly restricted to English, however) and in terms of acquisition biases (with an artificial rule learning experiment). This reduces the putative differences between content and logical words, as well as the associated challenges these differences would pose, e.g., for learners.