Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-998X
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
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Systemic-functional linguistics (SFL) is used as a framework within which a child's 'cognitive' development can be seen in linguistic terms as the building of a meaning potential which gains realisation in texts. Data are then presented from a diary study of one child's speech between the ages of two and a half and five years, focussing on the child's use of 'mental' and 'verbal' clauses (such as I think or she said) in order to reveal the child's understandings about information exchange, which constitutes the basis of learning. The naturalistic data display various developments in the child's construals of semiotic exchange, including exploration of 'false' information and the status of perceptual evidence. A general pattern emerges whereby the child moves out from representing and exploring the 'I-you-now' of the ongoing interaction, to a later construal of the world beyond this 'deictic centre', suggesting an intersubjective rather than an 'egocentric' starting point to development.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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