Norwegian version of this page

Creativity and Convention in Pragmatic Development

This project investigates the use and understanding of non-literal language in Norwegian-speaking children, both with typical development and with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Small stones shaped as a heart on blue background. Photo.
Photo: Colourbox

About the project


The project's objective is to provide an account of the stages and factors involved in children's developing competence with non-literal uses of language, focusing on both typical development and the atypical development of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), whose pragmatic difficulties with non-literal uses are still poorly understood.


We will investigate the hypothesis that children's growing sensitivity to sense conventions impedes their pragmatic reasoning with non-literal uses. To the best of our knowledge, no studies have explicitly investigated whether ASD individuals' pragmatic difficulties may be linked to the same source as those that neurotypical children experience at a certain stage in pragmatic development.


We will use a combination of implicit and explicit measures (e.g., eye-tracking and picture selection) to study Norwegian-speaking children's performance on production and comprehension tasks involving non-literal uses of language.

Work packages

  • WP 1: The atypical development of lexical innovation
  • WP 2: The atypical development of lexical modulation
  • WP 3: The typical and atypical development of irony and manner implicatures


Better knowledge of the underlying causes of a challenging domain of children's language and communication may inform the development of educational and intervention programs and help optimise children's learning contexts and outcomes.


From 01.06.2020 to 31.05.2024.


FINNUT project no. 302083.

Image may contain: Text, Font, Logo, Line, Orange.

Selected publications

Scientific Advisory Board: 

Robyn Carston (UCL), Eve Clark(Stanford), Anett Kaale (UiO), Mikhail Kissine (ULB), Olivier Mascaro (CNRS), Ira Noveck (CNRS), Ekaterina Ostashchenko (MMU), Nausicaa Pouscoulous (UCL), , Agustín Vicente (UPV-EHU), Elspeth Wilson (Cambridge), Deirdre Wilson(UCL). 

Published Apr. 1, 2020 11:47 AM - Last modified Jan. 6, 2022 1:11 PM