Elvira Cicognani

Conoscenze condivise e comunicazione referenziale in età scolare: implicazioni dell'essere "abitanti" di una città

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract


This research aimed at analyzing a particular aspect of children's perspective-taking ability in the context of a referential communication task: their ability to choose the most appropriate referential message, among different alternatives available, depending on a social attribute of the interlocutor (being inhabitant of a town vs. not being so). This ability was investigated using three different tasks: a) a spontaneous production task, where subjects described a list of referents (buildings depicted on the map of a fictitious town) in such a way that an hypothetical person defined as living in the town (or not living in it) could identify them; b) an evaluation task, where subjects had to assess the extent to which a message referring to information held only by inhabitants could be understood by the two different interlocutors; and c) a task where subjects evaluated the relative adequacy of 2 different messages used to describe the referents (a message referring to knowledge held only by inhabitants and a description of visible characteristics of the referents). The sample included 27 7yr-old and 28 9yr-old children, and a group of 14 adults. Results showed significant improvements from 7 to 9 years in production ability and in the ability to evaluate whether a message can be understood by the different interlocutors. As regards the evaluation of the relative adequacy of the different messages, the performance of 9yr-old children was similar to that of younger children.

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