ERIC Number: EJ1011698
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Four- and Six-Year-Olds Use Pragmatic Competence to Guide Word Learning
Vazquez, Maria D.; Delisle, Sarah S.; Saylor, Megan M.
Journal of Child Language, v40 n2 p291-306 Mar 2013
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.
Descriptors: Young Children, Child Language, Novelty (Stimulus Dimension), Vocabulary Development, Pragmatics, Competence, Age Differences, Language Acquisition, Interpersonal Communication
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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