Preverbal Infants Infer Third‐Party Social Relationships Based on Language

Cognitive Science 41 (S3):622-634 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Language provides rich social information about its speakers. For instance, adults and children make inferences about a speaker's social identity, geographic origins, and group membership based on her language and accent. Although infants prefer speakers of familiar languages, little is known about the developmental origins of humans’ sensitivity to language as marker of social identity. We investigated whether 9-month-olds use the language a person speaks as an indicator of that person's likely social relationships. Infants were familiarized with videos of two people who spoke the same or different languages, and then viewed test videos of those two individuals affiliating or disengaging. Results suggest that infants expected two people who spoke the same language to be more likely to affiliate than two people who spoke different languages. Thus, infants view language as a meaningful social marker and use language to make inferences about third-party social relationships.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,347

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Is consciousness in its infancy in infancy?David Rakison - 2007 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (9-10):66-89.
Conventions and Their Role in Language.M. J. Cain - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (1):137-158.
Language: Between cognition, communication and culture.Anne Reboul - 2012 - Pragmatics and Cognition 20 (2):295-316.
The language of social software.Jan van Eijck - 2010 - Synthese 177 (S1):77 - 96.


Added to PP

21 (#742,301)

6 months
9 (#318,459)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?