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Who? When? Where?: An Investigation into Twins' Use of Deixis

Psycholinguistics 301-02 Final Presentation

Laura Weller

on 12 December 2009

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Transcript of Who? When? Where?: An Investigation into Twins' Use of Deixis

Who? When? Where?:
An Investigation into Twins' Use of Deixis By: Amanda Gorman, Merry Saez, and Laura Weller Basic Fieldwork Info
Linguistic Features
What is Deixis?
What we found
Our Theories
Research Support
Group Activity
Critique/Analysis Basic Fieldwork Info
Pseudonyms: Shane and Ella (Ella has Down's Syndrome)
Twins of approx. 5 years 7 months
Children of college professors
Educational level: both parents earned PhD
Socio-economic class: upper middle class
Native language spoken at home: English
Ethnicity: Caucasian A deictic word is one that specifies something a word stands for in a given context Linguistic Features
amount of morphological units per utterance
phonetic errors: /r/, /th/, /f/
cognitive processing (ex "numbers")
use of imperative
deixis- use of third person Mike Gasser. Indiana University, 2006. http://www.indiana.edu/~hlw/Meaning/deixis.html. Our Theory
The child understands what the referent words mean but doesn't know in what context to use them (ex "bath", "tape")
The words "morning" and "afternoon" should only to refer the current day not a day in the past. In that case, one would use a date or season, etc. to refer to the event
The child does NOT understand when time frames overlap or encompass one another Our Theory
If an authoritative figure says the child's name at the time an object is given to him/her the child may attach their own name to that object in the future to refer to it (ex "shirt")
Baby talk (or "motherese") may also be a cause of this relationship error
The child could also think it is acceptable to use either third or first person
Or they may not know in what context to use first person (ex "storybooks", "X") As we have seen, young children must learn to refer using words that point directly to individuals (proper nouns), words that point to categories of things (common nouns), and words that point to deictic roles. Deixis seems to be the last of these to emerge. Early on children often treat first and second person pronouns as though they were proper nouns. So when the Speaker uses the word you to refer to the Hearer (the child), the child may also use the word you to refer to herself, who is now the Speaker. Perhaps deixis is hard for a child because it requires switching perspective. The child can't simply imitate the adult usage because the roles of Speaker and Hearer switch when this happens, and deictic words like I and you change their referents. In some sense the child has to understand a word like you from the perspective of the Speaker, realizing that that person then fills the you role when she becomes the Speaker. converse with your peers, but no personal pronouns! Group Activity Test for consistency
Have better equipment
Extend the study Critique/Analysis What We Found
Full transcript