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ERIC Number: EJ1145347
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Learning Words from Speakers with False Beliefs
Papafragou, Anna; Fairchild, Sarah; Cohen, Matthew L.; Friedberg, Carlyn
Journal of Child Language, v44 n4 p905-923 Jul 2017
During communication, hearers try to infer the speaker's intentions to be able to understand what the speaker means. Nevertheless, whether (and how early) preschoolers track their interlocutors' mental states is still a matter of debate. Furthermore, there is disagreement about how children's ability to consult a speaker's belief in communicative contexts relates to their ability to track someone's belief in non-communicative contexts. Here, we study young children's ability to successfully acquire a word from a speaker with a false belief; we also assess the same children's success on a traditional false belief attribution task. We show that the ability to consult the epistemic state of a speaker during word learning develops between the ages of three and five. We also show that false belief understanding in word-learning contexts proceeds similarly to standard belief-attribution contexts when the tasks are equated. Our data offer evidence for the development of mind-reading abilities during language acquisition.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: BCS0641105