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date: 30 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the development of communicative intention, conversation, and narrative in early interaction from infancy to early childhood. True communicative intention commences once the infant acquires the social cognitive ability to share attention and intention with another. The developing child’s pragmatic understanding is reflective of his/her underlying motivations for cooperation and shared intentionality. As children begin to understand others’ mental states, they can take others’ perspectives and understand what knowledge is shared and with whom, moving from joint perceptual focus to more decontextualized communicative intentions. With adult assistance, the young child is able to engage in increasingly more sophisticated conversational exchanges and co-constructed narratives which influence the child’s autonomous capabilities.

Keywords: developmental pragmatics, communicative intention, shared intention, conversation, narrative

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