Communicable reasons: How children learn topoi through dialogue

Children's acquisition of language requires their learning of not just words/concepts and linguistic structure but how these interact in dialogue with knowledge about the world, our interlocutors, the shared environment and social norms. In this paper we explore how children acquire the rhetorical resources that they need in dialogue. These topoi are the underpinning warrants for incomplete (enthymematic) arguments in dialogue. We illustrate our account with examples from dialogues with children that demonstrate the topoi which they have learned -- particularly in cases where these topoi are unexpected from the adult language user's perspective, and sketch a formal model using Type Theory with Records.
Research areas:
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Book title:
Proceedings of the 24th Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue
Waltham, MA
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