ERIC Number: ED200009
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Pragmatic Conditions on Learning How to Refer to Localities.
Miller, Max; Weissenborn, Jurgen
Longitudinal data on the language of one German-speaking child were gathered from her 16th to her 26th month. Speech acts involving "where" questions were isolated and analyzed. The following order of referential development was discovered: (1) pragmatic conditions taking the form of certain action-contexts first relieve the discourse between caretaker and child from the requirement of establishing a common referential space by linguistic means; (2) in an ordered succession of action contexts the child learns to differentiate the internal structure of common referential spaces, i.e., the child learns to distinguish between local reference and object reference; (3) in the verbal interaction between caretaker and child that is embedded into these action contexts, the child learns to distinguish between different types of referring expressions, which subdivide a common space of living in different referential domains and thus relieve local reference from being totally dependent on pragmatic conditions; and (4) "where" questions of caretakers are very well adapted to the child's referential capabilities--those not answered by the child but by the caretakers themselves or that were not answered at all generally did not fit into the developmental order of action contexts that has been described. (Author/JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.