Asymmetries between Language Production and Comprehension

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    This book asserts that language is a signaling system rather than a code, based in part on such research as the finding that 5-year-old English and Dutch children use pronouns correctly in their own utterances, but often fail to interpret these forms correctly when used by someone else. Emphasizing the unique and sometimes competing demands of listener and speaker, the author examines resulting asymmetries between production and comprehension. The text offers examples of the interpretation of word order and pronouns by listeners, and word order freezing and referential choice by speakers. It is explored why the usual symmetry breaks down in children but also sometimes in adults. Gathering contemporary insights from theoretical linguistic research, psycholinguistic studies and computational modeling, Asymmetries between Language Production and Comprehension presents a unified explanation of this phenomenon.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationDordrecht
    Number of pages212
    ISBN (Electronic)978-94-007-6901-4
    ISBN (Print)978-94-007-6900-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Publication series

    NameStudies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics


    • language acquisition
    • production
    • comprehension
    • pronouns
    • word order

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