Bruno G. Bara, Francesca M. Bosco, Monica Bucciarelli

Rappresentazioni mentali e competenza pragmatica nei bambini

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Keywords:

Cognitive Pragmatics theory investigates the mental processes underlying human communication; we explain the development of the communicative competence in the theoretical framework provided by the theory. In particular, we focus on the comprehension of direct and indirect speech acts, ironies, deceits, and planning of deceits by tracing them back to a single theoretical explanation. Following the tenets of Cognitive Pragmatics, we hypothesize that the complexity of the mental representations involved in the different pragmatic tasks can account for the differences in the development of communicative competence observed in 80 children of 2;6 to 7 years. Thus, we predict a trend in difficulty for the different tasks. The experimental results confirm such a prediction. A secondary aim of the research was the detection of a possible relation between the ability to deal with the pragmatic tasks and the ability to draw theory of mind inferences. The results confirm our expectation.

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