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Conference: (Re)presenting the Speech of Others

There are different ways of reporting what someone else has said. Common forms of speech reports are direct speech (Mary said “I am sick”) and indirect speech (Mary said that she is sick). Pretense and role play are closely related phenomena. Like in direct speech, someone engaging in role play adopts the perspective of another person and produces utterances from that shifted standpoint (I am sick) (Harris, 2000).

Another interesting parallel is that children start to use speech reports and to engage in role play at around the same time, namely at two to three years of age. This is well before they pass standard false belief tests (at around four) which are often taken to be the hallmark of Theory of Mind and metarepresentation (e.g. Perner, 1991). Since at least some forms of reported speech exhibit recursion, intensionality, and/or clausal embedding, this developmental gap may shed new light on the debate over the relationship between Theory of Mind and the syntax/semantics of recursive embedding (e.g. de Villiers & de Villiers, 2000).

The aim of the conference is to discuss the cognitive and conceptual relationship of reported speech, pretense and cognitive abilities such as perspective-taking, metarepresentation and Theory of Mind.

Keynote speakers

  • Paul L. Harris (Harvard)
  • Josef Perner (Salzburg)
  • Jill de Villiers (Smith College)

Call for Papers

We invite authors to submit an anonymous two-page abstract by 1 December, 2013, for a talk of 20 minutes plus 10 minutes discussion or a poster. Submissions should be made via Easychair. We welcome theoretically and empirically oriented contributions addressing some of the following topics of interest from the perspectives of (psycho)linguistics, philosophy, psychology or semantics.

Topics of Interest:
  • Development of reported speech
  • Development of pretense/ role play
  • Direct and indirect speech
  • Perspective shift, role shift, deictic/indexical shift
  • Theory of Mind / mindreading
  • Metacognition and metarepresentation
Important dates
  • Submission deadline: 1 December, 2013
  • Notification of acceptance: 21 December, 2013
  • Conference: 13-14 March, 2014

Franziska Köder & Emar Maier
Hosted by the ERC project BLENDS
Conference website

Laatst gewijzigd:08 november 2016 14:46