The linguistic vs. sociocognitive nature of expressive pragmatics: what is it about in the preschool years?
Pragmatics – the ability to use language socially –involves both the linguistic and social aspects of human communication. Developmental literature has explored the interplay between children’s pragmatic, structural language, and social cognition skills. However, the focus has largely been on receptive pragmatic domains and verbal, non-multimodal language. We know much less about the acquisition of expressive pragmatics and its relationship with multimodal language (i.e., prosody and gesture). We will go through a series of studies that explore expressive pragmatic abilities during early preschool years (ages 3– 4), in relation to social cognition and language, both structural and multimodal, using different descriptive, correlational, and training approaches. We will seek to provide insights into the developing architecture of pragmatics and answer the question about the cognitive status of the expressive pragmatic ability.
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