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If I were you and you were me: the analysis of pronouns in a pronoun-reversing child*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 September 2008

Shulamuth Chiat
Affiliation:
School for the Study of Disorders of Human Communication

Abstract

An investigation into the pronoun distribution of a pronoun-reversing child reveals inconsistencies both within production and between production and comprehension. This distribution is compatible with some analyses of normal pronoun development and pronoun reversal which have attributed non-adult person distinctions to the child. However, the data are also compatible with a quite distinct hypothesis which postulates that the child's pronouns are plurifunctional: the unreversed pronouns encode full adult distinctions, and are independent of the reversed pronouns, which function to shift perspective. The evaluation of these hypotheses and the questions they raise for normal and pathological pronoun development are discussed.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1982

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Footnotes

[*]

I am indebted to Maria Black, for drawing my attention to Matthew and for discussing the data; to Lynden and Roger Parker for sharing my interest in their son's pronouns; to Chris and Uta Frith for assistance with the statistical analysis; to Jean Aitchison for the title; and to Fay Chiat for typing. Address for correspondence: School for the Study of Disorders of Human Communication, 86 Blackfriars Road, London SEI 8HA.

References

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