The semantics and pragmatics of belief reports in preschoolers

Shevaun Lewis, Valentine Hacquard, Jeffrey Lidz

Children under 4 years have been claimed to lack adult-­like semantic representations of belief verbs like think. Based on two experiments involving a truth-­value judgment task, we argue that 4-­year olds' apparently deviant interpretations arise from pragmatic difficulty understanding the relevance of belief, rather than from conceptual or semantic immaturity.