Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

The Vulgar Tongue: Green's History of Slang

By Jonathon Green

A comprehensive history of slang in the English speaking world by its leading lexicographer.


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

The Universal Structure of Categories: Towards a Formal Typology

By Martina Wiltschko

This book presents a new theory of grammatical categories - the Universal Spine Hypothesis - and reinforces generative notions of Universal Grammar while accommodating insights from linguistic typology.


New from Brill!

ad

Brill's MyBook Program

Do you have access to Dynamics of Morphological Productivity through your library? Then you can by the paperback for only €25 or $25! Find out more about Brill's MyBook program!


Academic Paper


Title: Young children's sensitivity to listener knowledge and perceptual context in choosing referring expressions
Author: Angelika Wittek
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Author: Michael Tomasello
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: Speakers use different types of referring expressions depending on what the listener knows or is attending to; for example, they use pronouns for objects that are already present in the immediate discourse or perceptual context. In a first study we found that 2.5- and 3.5-year-old children are strongly influenced by their interlocutor's knowledge of a referent as expressed in her immediately preceding utterance. Specifically, when they are asked a question about a target object ("Where is the broom?"), they tend to use null references or pronouns to refer to that object ("On the shelf" or "It's on the shelf"); in contrast, when they are asked more general questions ("What do we need?") or contrast questions ("Do we need a mop?") that reveal no knowledge of the target object they tend to use lexical nouns ("A broom" or "No, a broom"). In a second study we found that children at around their second birthday are not influenced by immediately preceding utterances in this same way. Finally, in a third study we found that 2.5- and 3.5-year-old children's choice of referring expressions is very little influenced by the physical arrangements of objects in the perceptual context, whether it is absent or needs to be distinguished from a close-by alternative, when they request a target object from a silent adult. These results are discussed in terms of children's emerging understanding of the knowledge and attentional states and other persons.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 26, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



Back
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page