Talk: Anna Papafragou - Informativeness in pragmatic development
Anna Papafragou, who is professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, is a leading expert on experimental semantics and pragmatics, language acquisition, and language and cognition.
Informativeness in pragmatic development
In this talk I explore the origins and development of pragmatic competence taking informativeness as a case study. I present a series of studies that seek to explain the complex pattern of children’s successes and failures in this area. I show that children’s pragmatic difficulties are linked to accessing relevant (and not simply informationally stronger) lexical alternatives during the computation of pragmatic inferences. I discuss the role of assessing the speaker’s epistemic state during the calculation of pragmatic inferences, and generalize the findings on children’s pragmatic competence beyond language to non-linguistic symbols. I conclude by sketching an integrated view of the development of pragmatic abilities that connects pragmatics to non-linguistic cognition.