Thinking for Speaking

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  • Languages do not represent the world exactly as it is. When we talk, we convey ideas, attitudes, feelings, and so on, about the world. In doing so, we may pick out what to talk about in a particular situation, depending on the audience, the topic of conversation, the time of day, our feelings and attitudes, our motivations, and so on. Speakers of different languages can systematically make different choices about how to speak. For language development, then, the idea is that children must learn what can be and usually is said in their language community. In order to explain how children become native speakers of the language around them, D. Slobin suggested that people might adopt a certain kind of thinking for the purposes of ...

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