Information tracking and encoding in early L1: linguistic competence vs. cognitive limitations

This study provides experimental evidence for preschool children’s competence in basic information structure, with particular attention to the notions of topic and focus. It investigates their mastery of structural and definiteness distinctions to encode the information status of discourse referents, and seeks to distinguish linguistic competence from cognitive development as the source for children’s ‘errors’. Evidence comes from a story-telling experiment performed on 45 children acquiring French (between the ages of 2 ; 6·22 and 5 ; 6·15). The article demonstrates continuity between the child and adult systems of basic discourse representation. It further argues that children’s definiteness errors are not due to a lack of knowledge of the adult rules of information encoding. Rather, such errors stem from cognitive limitations and from assuming a wider common ground than adults would.

from the Journal of Child Language

Advertisements

About Callier Library

Housed at the internationally renowned Callier Center for Communication Disorders, Callier Library a branch facility of the McDermott Library at The University of Texas at Dallas.

Posted on August 3, 2011, in Research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: