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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

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Academic Paper


Title: Integration of communicative partner's visual perspective in patterns of referential requests
Author: Sevda Bahtiyar
Institution: Koç University
Author: Aylin C. Küntay
Institution: Koç University
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Morphology
Abstract: How do Turkish children differ from adults in sensitivity to the commonality of their partner's perspective with their own in producing referential language? Fifteen five- to six-year-olds, 15 nine- to ten-year-olds and 15 adults were asked to tell a confederate to pick up an object across three conditions: the common ground condition, in which two similar objects with one contrastive feature were visible to both the participants and the confederate; the privileged ground condition, in which one of the two similar objects was available only to the participant; and the baseline condition, in which there were no competing objects. Age-related increases were found from preschool ages into adulthood in the production of (a) discriminating adjectives in the common ground trials, and (b) requestive speech acts with verbal constructions, rather than noun-only labels. A follow-up study with preschoolers (N=15) prompted for requestive speech acts, leading to an increase in discriminating adjectives.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 36, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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