Therefore, every joint action, e.g. an utterance, adds to the common ground one shares with a particular person. Accordingly, it grows throughout the relationship with the given person. However, one can never be sure whether the other person considers the same information as shared base, as the actual information may be corrupted and thus differ. Let me try to explain this with the example of Layla and her boyfriend. They both know that the group of animals they played with were dolphins. Since the Spinner's Dolphin and the Beluga share numerous common features in looks, though, the woman might think that she had been swimming with Spinner's Dolphins, while her boyfriend is convinced the animals were Belugas. This misinterpretation will never become apparent if they do not mention the animal's specific name in a conversation or hear about it elsewhere. To avoid such errors, Clark underlines the importance of finding a certain level of common ground which precludes misunderstandings from developing.
How well the information about a shared base in Layla's and Eric's case the dolphin justifies the common ground, depends on the quality of the evidence. Wh...
... middle of paper ...
...erence could be seen. They either put the piece in the puzzle or into the basket but not according to the shared experience with one of the experimenter. In the second study, significantly fewer infants of both age groups equally cleaned up the target object when the stranger performed a pointing gesture at the object, than when the experimenter with whom they share a common ground did. The experiment's outcome supports the researcher's as well as Clark's argument that previously shared experience influences and shapes how a person, even infants starting from about 18-months, react in and to a given situation.
1996 Ch. 4: Language use. Using Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 3–25.
Liebal, Kristen et al.
2009 Infants use shared experience to interpret pointing gestures. Developmental Science 12.2, 264–271.
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