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Intentionality and Language Development

Bloom, Lois; Beckwith, Richard

The purpose of this paper is to argue for explicit reference in child language research to the states of mind that underlie expression. As a result of taking this Intentional stance we can more cogently (1) address the development of capacities that make such representations possible; (2) explain certain well-known phenomena in language development such as the transitions to using words and learning grammar; and (3) explore the developmental relation among different systems of expression such as between speech and affect. Expressions, whether through action, speech, or affect, are a license to attribute the representations that underlie them. Such attributions are basic in research with children learning language. Our goal is to highlight this practice, and, thereby, offer a theoretical framework for unifying the perspectives within which research in language development is ordinarily pursued.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Human Development
Published Here
June 28, 2017
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