Demonstrative Reference and Cognitive Space: A Memory Game on Mandarin-Speaking Children

Lu Zhao, Lu Zou

Abstract


The development of pragmatic ability is an essential topic in language acquisition, among which demonstratives are significant to reflect human’s cognition of the relation between language and the environment. The purpose of this research is to investigate the acquisition of spatial demonstratives “zhe” (this) and “na” (that) of Mandarin-speaking children through experimental design (different tool use, e.g. participants pointed at the objects with their finger or a laser pen), exploring the influence of perceptual distance on children’s choice of spatial demonstratives. Through comparison with adults’ data, results supported the view that 5- to 6-year-old children have already developed adult-like cognitive space when it comes to the use of spatial demonstratives, which produced an effect on the use of spatial demonstratives, proving speaker’s subjective involvement in choosing the proximal or distal demonstrative in the process of communication, and rendering more evidence on children’s early development of pragmatic ability.


Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v13i2.18371

Copyright (c) 2021 Lu Zhao, Lu Zou

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'macrothink.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.

Copyright © Macrothink Institute ISSN 1948-5425

'Macrothink Institute' is a trademark of Macrothink Institute, Inc.