Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

Cognitive Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Newman, John

IMPACT FACTOR increased in 2015: 1.375
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.527
Rank 29 out of 179 in category Linguistics in the 2015 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Social Sciences Edition

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.592
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 1.277
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.833

See all formats and pricing

Select Volume and Issue


30,00 € / $42.00 / £23.00

Get Access to Full Text

The attention-grammar interface: Eye-gaze cues structural choice in children and adults

1 / Elena V. M. Lieven2 / Michael Tomasello3

1Max Planck Child Study Centre

2Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

3University of Manchester

Citation Information: Cognitive Linguistics. Volume 24, Issue 3, Pages 457–481, ISSN (Online) 1613-3641, ISSN (Print) 0936-5907, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2013-0020, July 2013

Publication History

Published Online:


We investigated whether children (3- and 4-year-olds) and adults can use the active passive alternation – essentially a choice of subject – in a way that is consistent with the eye-gaze of the speaker. Previous work suggests the function of the subject position can be grounded in attentional mechanisms (Tomlin 1995, 1997). Eye-gaze is one powerful source of directing attention that we know adults and young children are sensitive to; furthermore, we know adults are more likely to look at the subject of their sentence than any other character (Gleitman et al. 2007; Griffin and Bock 2000). We demonstrate that older children and adults are able to use speaker-gaze to choose a felicitous subject when describing a scene with both agent-focused and patient focused cues. Integrating attentional and grammatical information in this way allows children to limit the degrees of freedom on what the function of certain linguistic constructions might be.

Keywords: attention-grammar interface; eye-gaze; subject; argument-structure constructions; social cognition

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Ruth de Diego-Balaguer, Anna Martinez-Alvarez, and Ferran Pons
Frontiers in Psychology, 2016, Volume 7
Elisabeth Norcliffe, Agnieszka E. Konopka, Penelope Brown, and Stephen C. Levinson
Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 2015, Page 1

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.