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ERIC Number: EJ1120552
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
Is It a Name or a Fact? Disambiguation of Reference via Exclusivity and Pragmatic Reasoning
Malone, Stephanie A.; Kalashnikova, Marina; Davis, Erin M.
Cognitive Science, v40 n8 p2095-2107 Nov 2016
Adults reason by exclusivity to identify the meanings of novel words. However, it is debated whether, like children, they extend this strategy to disambiguate other referential expressions (e.g., facts about objects). To further inform this debate, this study tested 41 adults on four conditions of a disambiguation task: label/label, fact/fact, label/fact, and fact/label (Scofield & Behrend, [Scofield, J., 2007]). Participants also provided a verbal explanation for their referent selections to tease apart the underlying processes. Results indicated that adults successfully discerned the target object in the label/label and label/fact condition, yet not the remaining two conditions. Verbal reports indicated that the strategy utilized to disambiguate differed depending upon communicative context. These findings confirm that the tendency to reason by exclusivity becomes restricted to word-learning situations with growing linguistic and communicative experience.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A