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The Language Hoax

By John H. McWhorter

The Language Hoax "argues that that all humans process life the same way, regardless of their language."


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Language and Development in Africa

By H. Ekkehard Wolff

Language and Development in Africa "discusses the resourcefulness of languages, both local and global, in view of the ongoing transformation of African societies as much as for economic development.. "


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Academic Paper


Title: Four- and six-year-olds use pragmatic competence to guide word learning
Author: Maria D Vázquez
Homepage: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/psychological_sciences/bio/maria-vazquez
Institution: Vanderbilt University
Author: Sarah S. Delisle
Institution: Vanderbilt University
Author: Megan M. Saylor
Institution: Vanderbilt University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Pragmatics
Abstract: The present study investigates whether four- and six-year-old children use pragmatic competence as a criterion for learning from someone else. Specifically, we ask whether children use others' adherence to Gricean maxims to determine whether they will offer valid labels for novel objects. Six-year-olds recognized adherence to the maxims of quality and relation and subsequently trusted the labels provided by a maxim adherer. Four-year-olds displayed this pattern when judging adherence to quality but not relation. A linear regression revealed that children's ability to identify maxim adherers predicted their ability to choose the correct object during word-learning trials. This research demonstrates that children use others' pragmatic history when judging the reliability of the information they offer.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 40, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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