Poster: Dionysia Saratsli, Anna Papafragou & Zhenghan Qi
Title: Social cognition and pragmatic inference in word learning
Research Summary: Both children and adults can use pragmatic inference and social cognition to learn word meanings. However, the relationship between these factors and word learning has not been systematically studied beyond in-the-moment mappings. Here we compared adults' attainment and retention of novel word meanings that were either directly mapped or pragmatically inferred, and further related results to social-cognitive measures. In two experiments, participants heard 8 words in a direct mapping context, whose meaning could be identified from a sentence in combination with the scene ("Look! I like this bink! It is on the dinosaur!"), and 8 inferred words, whose meaning had to be computed through pragmatics ("Look! I like this dinosaur! It is holding a mel!"). We found word meanings learned through pragmatic (informativeness) reasoning are remembered better than those acquired through simpler word-to-world mappings. Furthermore, social cognition has a specific role in supporting the retention of word meanings learned through pragmatic computation.
Slides pdf: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1t4R2ushQc2m8yr0SZQiE3Z8gYQo-tQGp/view?usp=sharing