Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Why Language Matters for Theory of Mind$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Janet Wilde Astington and Jodie A. Baird

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195159912

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159912.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 24 March 2019

How Language Facilitates the Acquisition of False-Belief Understanding in Children with Autism

How Language Facilitates the Acquisition of False-Belief Understanding in Children with Autism

(p.298) 14 How Language Facilitates the Acquisition of False-Belief Understanding in Children with Autism
Why Language Matters for Theory of Mind

Helen Tager-Flusberg

Robert M. Joseph

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents findings that show how language facilitates the acquisition of false-belief understanding in children with autism. It examines autism as a window on the relation between language and theory of mind. It is well known that individuals with autism have deficits in both domains. However, despite these impairments, a small percentage of individuals with autism routinely pass theory-of-mind tasks, specifically, false-belief tasks. The chapter takes a closer look at these individuals, focusing on the unique role language plays in facilitating their success on the false-belief task. It argues that, for individuals with autism, language—in particular, knowledge of sentential complements—serves to bootstrap the meta-representational understanding of mental states necessary for success on false-belief tasks. In support of this view, the chapter reports that knowledge of complements for verbs of communication is uniquely important for this group. It also suggests that there are two components to theory of mind: social-perceptual abilities and social-cognitive understanding.

Keywords:   language, children, autism, theory of mind, false-belief tasks, mental states, sentential complements, verbs, social-perceptual abilities, social-cognitive understanding

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .