Cognitive conceptions of language and the development of autobiographical memory

Language and Communication 22 (3):375-390 (2002)
The early development of autobiographical memory is a useful case study both for examining general relations between language and memory, and for investigating the promise and the difficulty of interdisciplinary research in the cognitive sciences of memory. An otherwise promising social-interactionist view of autobiographical memory development relies in part on an overly linguistic conception of mental representation. This paper applies an alternative, ‘supra-communicative’ view of the relation between language and thought, along the lines developed by Andy Clark, to this developmental framework. A pluralist approach to current theories of autobiographical memory development is sketched: shared early narratives about the past function in part to stabilize and structure the child’s own autobiographical memory system
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