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Introduction

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Abstract

This chapter serves as an introduction to The Acquisition of Reference. The volume brings together influential recent research on the study of children’s comprehension and production of reference, with a focus on discourse-pragmatic approaches and cross-linguistic comparison. In this chapter, we first provide a brief historical overview of the research on referential choice from syntactic, processing, and discourse-pragmatic perspectives. We then highlight the major themes of the volume including the role in referential choice played by factors such as accessibility, type of interaction, amount of cognitive load, prosody, caregiver input, age, language ability, cognitive ability, language typology, and cognitive prerequisites including theory of mind. We conclude with directions for further research.

References

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