(Re)presenting the Speech of Others
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There are different ways of reporting what someone else has said. Common forms of speech reports are direct speech (Mary said “I am sick”) and indirect speech (Mary said that she is sick). Pretense and role play are closely related phenomena. Like in direct speech, someone engaging in role play adopts the perspective of another person and produces utterances from that shifted standpoint (I am sick) (Harris, 2000). Another interesting parallel is that children start to use speech reports and to engage in role play at around the same time, namely at two to three years of age. This is well before they pass standard false belief tests (at around four) which are often taken to be the hallmark of Theory of Mind and metarepresentation (e.g. Perner, 1991). Since at least some forms of reported speech exhibit recursion, intensionality, and/or clausal embedding, this developmental gap may shed new light on the debate over the relationship between Theory of Mind and the syntax/semantics of recursive embedding (e.g. de Villiers & de
Villiers, 2000). The aim of the conference is to discuss the cognitive and conceptual relationship of reported speech, pretense and cognitive abilities such as perspective-taking, metarepresentation and Theory of Mind.
- Paul L. Harris
- Josef Perner
- Jill de Villiers
Organization: Franziska Köder & Emar Maier
Hosted by the ERC project BLENDS
Contact: [email protected]
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