Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

Le langage dans le jeu de fiction: une manière d'évaluer la théorie implicite de l'esprit chez le jeune enfant

Veneziano, Edy

In: Revue Tranel (Travaux neuchâtelois de linguistique), 2007, vol. 46, p. 19-32

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    This paper presents a new look at the relation between language and pretend play. Considering language not only in its representational but also in its communicative function, children's verbalizations in pretend play reveal their understanding of their partners' knowledge states. Indeed, while children use language in their pretending practically from the start, a developmental change in the aspects of pretend that are verbalized is observed. with "informative" language becoming and remaining dominant. This change occurs when other types of "informative" uses of language, in particular, references to past events and justifications, appear. Language in pretend play becomes thus a simple and ecological tool to evaluate the early development of children's theory of mind.