Children's use of referring expressions : some implications for theory of mind

  • This paper presents results of corpus analytic investigations of children's use of referring expressions and considers possible implications of this work for questions relating to development of theory of mind. The study confirms previous findings that children use the full range of referring forms (definite and indefinite articles, demonstrative determiners, and demonstrative and personal pronouns) appropriately by age 3 or earlier. It also provides support for two distinct stages in mind-reading ability. The first, which is implicit and non-propositional, includes the ability to assess cognitive statuses such as familiarity and focus of attention in relation to the intended referent; the second, which is propositional and more conscious, includes the ability to assess epistemic states such as knowledge and belief. Distinguishing these two stages supports attempts to reconcile seemingly inconsistent results concerning the age at which children develop theory of mind. It also makes it possible to explain why children learn to use forms correctly be-fore they exhibit the pragmatic ability to consider and calculate quantity implicatures.

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Author:Jeanette K. Gundel, Dimitris Ntelitheos, Melinda Kowalsky
Parent Title (English):Intersentential pronominal reference in child and adult language : proceedings of the Conference on Intersentential Pronominal Reference in Child and Adult Language, December 1 - 2, 2006, Berlin / Dagmar Bittner & Natalia Gagarina (ed.)
Publisher:Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2007
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/11/14
GND Keyword:Theory of mind; Referenz <Linguistik>; Spracherwerb; Kognitive Entwicklung; Demonstrativpronomen; Personalpronomen; Spezifität
Page Number:21
First Page:1
Last Page:21
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 41 Linguistik / 410 Linguistik
Linguistik-Klassifikation:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Syntax
Linguistik-Klassifikation: Spracherwerb / Language acquisition
Linguistik-Klassifikation: Psycholinguistik/Kognitive Linguistik / Psycholinguistics/Cognitive linguistics
Linguistik-Klassifikation: Lexikologie/Etymologie / Lexicology/Etymology
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:ZAS papers in linguistics : ZASPiL / ZASPiL 48 = Intersentential pronominal reference in child and adult language
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht