Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

7-2017

Publication Title

Social Environment and Cognition in Language Development

Abstract

Evidentials fall in the borderland between traditional semantics and pragmatics. A situation semantics for evidentials helps to explain their puzzling developmental pathway in children. Drawing on our work in Tibetan, we argue that there is no necessity for a child to master Theory of Mind, that is, awareness of others' mental states, in order to make or to understand assertions that carry evidential force. The meaning of evidentials does not make reference to states of knowledge of persons, but rather encodes relations between discourse, evidence and evaluation situations. On the other hand, when a Tibetan speaker asks a question, the form of the evidential used in the question must anticipate the kind of knowledge the interlocutor can access in reply. Full mastery of questions in Tibetan-speaking children does require attention to and representation of others' states of knowledge and belief.

First Page

113

Last Page

132

Creative Commons License

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

Rights

Licensed to Smith College and distributed CC-BY under the Smith College Faculty Open Access Policy

Comments

Peer reviewed accepted manuscript.

Included in

Philosophy Commons

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