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POS-ERC-Støtte til ERC søkere som oppnår god evaluering

Pragmatic markers: Connecting Language and Theory of Mind

Awarded: NOK 0.50 mill.

Language and Theory of Mind come together in communication, but their relationship has been intensely contested. I hypothesize that pragmatic markers connect language and ToM and enable their co-development and co-evolution through a positive feedback loop, whereby the development of one skill boosts the development of the other. Pragmatic markers are closed-class words that encode non-representational information that is inaccessible to consciousness. These markers have been associated with implicit Theory of Mind because they are used to establish joint attention and mark shared knowledge (e.g., compare 'I bought a house' vs 'I bought the house'). PRAG-MARK has three objectives, each linked to a different timescale: Language Acquisition: Identify the impact of cross-linguistic differences in demonstrative systems on children's Theory of Mind. Language Use: Identify the impact of cross-linguistic differences in demonstrative systems on adults' Theory of Mind. Language Change: Identify the impact of language change (from demonstratives to definite articles) on a speech community's Theory of Mind. To tackle these high-level objectives, I propose an ambitious programme of experimentation looking at pragmatic markers across eight different languages.

Funding scheme:

POS-ERC-Støtte til ERC søkere som oppnår god evaluering