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  1. Richard Moore, Bettina Mueller, Juliane Kaminski & Michael Tomasello (forthcoming). Two-Year-Olds but Not Domestic Dogs (Canis Familiaris) Understand Communicative Intentions Without Language, Gestures, or Gaze. Developmental Science.
    Infants can see someone pointing to one of two buckets and infer that the toy they are seeking is hidden inside. Great apes do not succeed in this task, but, surprisingly, domestic dogs do. However, whether children and dogs understand these communicative acts in the same way is not yet known. To test this possibility, an experimenter did not point, look, or extend any part of her body towards either bucket, but instead lifted and shook one via a centrally pulled (...)
     
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  2. Marco F. H. Schmidt, Hannes Rakoczy & Michael Tomasello (forthcoming). Young Children Understand and Defend the Entitlements of Others. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.
    Human social life is structured by social norms creating both obligations and entitlements. Recent research has found that young children enforce simple obligations against norm violators by protesting. It is not known, however, whether they understand entitlements in the sense that they will actively object to a second party attempting to interfere in something that a third party is entitled to do — what we call counter-protest. In two studies, we found that 3-year-old children understand when a person is entitled (...)
     
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  3. Miriam Dittmar, Kirsten Abbot‐Smith, Elena Lieven & Michael Tomasello (2014). Familiar Verbs Are Not Always Easier Than Novel Verbs: How German Pre‐School Children Comprehend Active and Passive Sentences. Cognitive Science 38 (1):128-151.
    Many studies show a developmental advantage for transitive sentences with familiar verbs over those with novel verbs. It might be that once familiar verbs become entrenched in particular constructions, they would be more difficult to understand (than would novel verbs) in non-prototypical constructions. We provide support for this hypothesis investigating German children using a forced-choice pointing paradigm with reversed agent-patient roles. We tested active transitive verbs in study 1. The 2-year olds were better with familiar than novel verbs, while the (...)
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  4. Paul Ibbotson, Elena V. M. Lieven & Michael Tomasello (2013). The Attention-Grammar Interface: Eye-Gaze Cues Structural Choice in Children and Adults. Cognitive Linguistics 24 (3).
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  5. Richard Moore, Kristin Liebal & Michael Tomasello (2013). Three-Year-Olds Understand Communicative Intentions Without Language, Gestures, or Gaze. Interaction Studies 14 (1):62-80.
    The communicative interactions of very young children almost always involve language (based on conventions), gesture (based on bodily deixis or iconicity) and directed gaze. In this study, ninety-six children (3;0 years) were asked to determine the location of a hidden toy by understanding a communicative act that contained none of these familiar means. A light-and-sound mechanism placed behind the hiding place and illuminated by a centrally placed switch was used to indicate the location of the toy. After a communicative training (...)
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  6. Daniel Schmerse, Elena Lieven & Michael Tomasello (2013). Discourse Particles and Belief Reasoning: The Case of German Doch. Journal of Semantics 31 (1):fft001.
    Next SectionDiscourse particles typically express the attitudes of interlocutors with respect to the propositional content of an utterance – for example, marking whether or not a speaker believes the content of the proposition that she uttered. In German, the particle doch – which has no direct English translation – is commonly used to correct a belief that is thought to be common ground among those present. We asked whether German adults and 5-year-olds are able to infer that a speaker who (...)
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  7. Paul Ibbotson, Anna L. Theakston, Elena V. M. Lieven & Michael Tomasello (2012). Semantics of the Transitive Construction: Prototype Effects and Developmental Comparisons. Cognitive Science 36 (7):1268-1288.
    This paper investigates whether an abstract linguistic construction shows the kind of prototype effects characteristic of non-linguistic categories, in both adults and young children. Adapting the prototype-plus-distortion methodology of Franks and Bransford (1971), we found that whereas adults were lured toward false-positive recognition of sentences with prototypical transitive semantics, young children showed no such effect. We examined two main implications of the results. First, it adds a novel data point to a growing body of research in cognitive linguistics and construction (...)
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  8. Danielle Matthews, Jessica Butcher, Elena Lieven & Michael Tomasello (2012). Two- and Four-Year-Olds Learn to Adapt Referring Expressions to Context: Effects of Distracters and Feedback on Referential Communication. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (2):184-210.
    Children often refer to things ambiguously but learn not to from responding to clarification requests. We review and explore this learning process here. In Study 1, eighty-four 2- and 4-year-olds were tested for their ability to request stickers from either (a) a small array with one dissimilar distracter or (b) a large array containing similar distracters. When children made ambiguous requests, they received either general feedback or specific questions about which of two options they wanted. With training, children learned to (...)
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  9. Marco F. H. Schmidt & Michael Tomasello (2012). Young Children Enforce Social Norms. Current Directions in Psychological Science 21 (4):232-236.
    Social norms have played a key role in the evolution of human cooperation, serving to stabilize prosocial and egalitarian behavior despite the self-serving motives of individuals. Young children’s behavior mostly conforms to social norms, as they follow adult behavioral directives and instructions. But it turns out that even preschool children also actively enforce social norms on others, often using generic normative language to do so. This behavior is not easily explained by individualistic motives; it is more likely a result of (...)
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  10. Marco Fh Schmidt, Hannes Rakoczy & Michael Tomasello (2012). Young Children Enforce Social Norms Selectively Depending on the Violator's Group Affiliation. Cognition 124 (3):325-333.
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  11. Michael Tomasello (2012). Why Be Nice? Better Not Think About It. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 16 (12):580-581.
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  12. Federico Rossano, Hannes Rakoczy & Michael Tomasello (2011). Young Children's Understanding of Violations of Property Rights. Cognition 121 (2):219-227.
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  13. Marco F. H. Schmidt, Hannes Rakoczy & Michael Tomasello (2011). Young Children Attribute Normativity to Novel Actions Without Pedagogy or Normative Language. Developmental Science 14 (3):530-539.
    Young children interpret some acts performed by adults as normatively governed, that is, as capable of being performed either rightly or wrongly. In previous experiments, children have made this interpretation when adults introduced them to novel acts with normative language (e.g. ‘this is the way it goes’), along with pedagogical cues signaling culturally important information, and with social-pragmatic marking that this action is a token of a familiar type. In the current experiment, we exposed children to novel actions with no (...)
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  14. Barbara Stumper, Colin Bannard, Elena Lieven & Michael Tomasello (2011). “Frequent Frames” in German Child-Directed Speech: A Limited Cue to Grammatical Categories. Cognitive Science 35 (6):1190-1205.
    Mintz (2003) found that in English child-directed speech, frequently occurring frames formed by linking the preceding (A) and succeeding (B) word (A_x_B) could accurately predict the syntactic category of the intervening word (x). This has been successfully extended to French (Chemla, Mintz, Bernal, & Christophe, 2009). In this paper, we show that, as for Dutch (Erkelens, 2009), frequent frames in German do not enable such accurate lexical categorization. This can be explained by the characteristics of German including a less restricted (...)
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  15. Michael Tomasello & Henrike Moll (2011). Replik Auf Die Kommentare. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 59 (1).
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  16. Amanda Seed & Michael Tomasello (2010). Primate Cognition. Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):407-419.
    As the cognitive revolution was slow to come to the study of animal behavior, the vast majority of what we know about primate cognition has been discovered in the last 30 years. Building on the recognition that the physical and social worlds of humans and their living primate relatives pose many of the same evolutionary challenges, programs of research have established that the most basic cognitive skills and mental representations that humans use to navigate those worlds are already possessed by (...)
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  17. David Buttelmann, Malinda Carpenter & Michael Tomasello (2009). Eighteen-Month-Old Infants Show False Belief Understanding in an Active Helping Paradigm. Cognition 112 (2):337-342.
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  18. Susanne Grassmann, Marén Stracke & Michael Tomasello (2009). Two-Year-Olds Exclude Novel Objects as Potential Referents of Novel Words Based on Pragmatics. Cognition 112 (3):488-493.
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  19. Carla Krachun, Josep Call & Michael Tomasello (2009). Can Chimpanzees (Pan Troglodytes) Discriminate Appearance From Reality? Cognition 112 (3):435-450.
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  20. Hannes Rakoczy & Michael Tomasello (2009). Done Wrong or Said Wrong? Young Children Understand the Normative Directions of Fit of Different Speech Acts. Cognition 113 (2):205-212.
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  21. Michael Tomasello (2009). Universal Grammar is Dead. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (5):470-471.
    The idea of a biologically evolved, universal grammar with linguistic content is a myth, perpetuated by three spurious explanatory strategies of generative linguists. To make progress in understanding human linguistic competence, cognitive scientists must abandon the idea of an innate universal grammar and instead try to build theories that explain both linguistic universals and diversity and how they emerge.
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  22. Felix Warneken & Michael Tomasello (2009). Cognition for Culture. In Murat Aydede & P. Robbins (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge. 467--79.
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  23. Felix Warneken & Michael Tomasello (2009). Varieties of Altruism in Children and Chimpanzees. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (9):397-402.
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  24. Victoria Wobber, Brian Hare, Janice Koler-Matznick, Richard Wrangham & Michael Tomasello (2009). Breed Differences in Domestic Dogs'(Canis Familiaris) Comprehension of Human Communicative Signals. Interaction Studies 10 (2):206-224.
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  25. Josep Call & Michael Tomasello (2008). Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind? 30 Years Later. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (5):187-192.
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  26. Juliane Kaminski, Josep Call & Michael Tomasello (2008). Chimpanzees Know What Others Know, but Not What They Believe. Cognition 109 (2):224-234.
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  27. Ulf Liszkowski, Malinda Carpenter & Michael Tomasello (2008). Twelve-Month-Olds Communicate Helpfully and Appropriately for Knowledgeable and Ignorant Partners. Cognition 108 (3):732-739.
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  28. Hannes Rakoczy & Michael Tomasello (2008). Kollektive Intentionalität und kulturelle Entwicklung. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 56 (3):401-410.
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  29. Michael Tomasello (2008). Origins of Human Communication. MIT Press.
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  30. Brian Hare, Josep Call & Michael Tomasello (2006). Chimpanzees Deceive a Human Competitor by Hiding. Cognition 101 (3):495-514.
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  31. Michael Tomasello & Josep Call (2006). Do Chimpanzees Know What Others See - or Only What They Are Looking At? In Susan L. Hurley & Matthew Nudds (eds.), Rational Animals? Oxford University Press.
     
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  32. Josep Call & Michael Tomasello (2005). Reasoning and Thinking in Nonhuman Primates. In K. Holyoak & B. Morrison (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning. Cambridge Univ Pr. 607--632.
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  33. Josep Call & Michael Tomasello (2005). What Chimpanzees Know About Seeing, Revisited: An Explanation of the Third Kind. In Naomi Eilan, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Johannes Roessler (eds.), Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds. Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford University Press. 45--64.
    Chimpanzees follow the gaze of conspecifics and humans — follow it past distractors and behind barriers, ‘check back’ with humans when gaze following does not yield interesting sights, use gestures appropriately depending on the visual access of their recipient, and select different pieces of food depending on whether their competitor has visual access to them. Taken together, these findings make a strong case for the hypothesis that chimpanzees have some understanding of what other individuals can and cannot see. However, chimpanzees (...)
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  34. Brian Hare & Michael Tomasello (2005). Do Chimpanzees Use Human Social-Communicative Cues? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (9):439-444.
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  35. Brian Hare & Michael Tomasello (2005). Human-Like Social Skills in Dogs? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (9):439-444.
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  36. Brian Hare & Michael Tomasello (2005). The Emotional Reactivity Hypothesis and Cognitive Evolution. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (10):464-465.
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  37. Michael Tomasello, Malinda Carpenter, Josep Call, Tanya Behne & Henrike Moll (2005). In Search of the Uniquely Human. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):721-727.
    As Bruner so eloquently points out, and Gauvain echoes, human beings are unique in their “locality.” Individual groups of humans develop their own unique ways of symbolizing and doing things – and these can be very different from the ways of other groups, even those living quite nearby. Our attempt in the target article was to propose a theory of the social-cognitive and social-motivational bases of humans' ability and propensity to live in this local, that is, this cultural, way – (...)
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  38. Michael Tomasello, Malinda Carpenter, Josep Call, Tanya Behne & Henrike Moll (2005). Understanding and Sharing Intentions: The Origins of Cultural Cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):675-691.
    We propose that the crucial difference between human cognition and that of other species is the ability to participate with others in collaborative activities with shared goals and intentions: shared intentionality. Participation in such activities requires not only especially powerful forms of intention reading and cultural learning, but also a unique motivation to share psychological states with others and unique forms of cognitive representation for doing so. The result of participating in these activities is species-unique forms of cultural cognition and (...)
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  39. Katja Liebal, Josep Call, Michael Tomasello & Simone Pika (2004). To Move or Not to Move: How Apes Adjust to the Attentional State of Others. Interaction Studies 5 (2):199-219.
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  40. Michael Tomasello (2004). Syntax or Semantics? Response to Lidz Et Al. Cognition 93 (2):139-140.
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  41. Jun Yamada, Min Wang, Keiko Koda, Charles A. Perfetti, Michael Tomasello, Nameera Akhtar, Maureen Callanan, Geoffrey K. Pullum, Barbara C. Scholz & Terry Regier (2004). An L1-Script-Transfer-Effect Fallacy. Discussion. Authors' Replies. Cognition 93 (2):127-165.
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  42. Thea Cameron‐Faulkner, Elena Lieven & Michael Tomasello (2003). A Construction Based Analysis of Child Directed Speech. Cognitive Science 27 (6):843-873.
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  43. Michael Tomasello (2003). The Key is Social Cognition. In Dedre Getner & Susan Goldin-Meadow (eds.), Language in Mind: Advances in the Study of Language and Thought. Mit Press. 47--57.
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  44. Michael Tomasello & Nameera Akhtar (2003). What Paradox? A Response to Naigles (2002). Cognition 88 (3):317-323.
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  45. Michael Tomasello, Josep Call & Brian Hare (2003). Chimpanzees Understand Psychological States – the Question is Which Ones and to What Extent. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (4):153-156.
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  46. Michael Tomasello, Josep Call & Brian Hare (2003). Chimpanzees Versus Humans: It's Not That Simple. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (6):239-240.
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  47. Michael Tomasello & Hannes Rakoczy (2003). What Makes Human Cognition Unique? From Individual to Shared to Collective Intentionality. Mind and Language 18 (2):121-147.
  48. Michael Tomasello (2002). Some Facts About Primate (Including Human) Communication and Social Learning. In. In A. Cangelosi & D. Parisi (eds.), Simulating the Evolution of Language. Springer-Verlag. 327--340.
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  49. Michael Tomasello & Kirsten Abbot-Smith (2002). A Tale of Two Theories: Response to Fisher. Cognition 83 (2):207-214.
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  50. Michael Tomasello & Klaus Zuberbühler (2002). Primate Vocal and Gestural Communication. In Marc Bekoff, Colin Allen & Gordon M. Burghardt (eds.), The Cognitive Animal: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives on Animal Cognition. Mit Press. 293--29.
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