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Because is why: Children’s acquisition of topoi through why questions

Abstract:
In this paper we look at how children learn the underlying principles of commonsense reasoning, sometimes referred to as topoi, which are prevalent in everyday dialogue. By examining the utterances of two children in the CHILDES corpus for whom there is extensive longitudinal data, we show how children can elicit topoi from their parents by asking why-questions. This strategy for the rapid acquisition of topoi peaks at around age three, suggesting that it is a critical step in becoming a fully competent language user.
Research areas:
Year:
2023
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Book title:
Proceedings of the 2023 CLASP Conference on Learning with Small Data (LSD)
Pages:
48-54
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