From extra-linguistic pragmatic competence to more complex competences among children at an early age

Feten Boubakri


The present research finds it interesting to study first language acquisition at an early age from a pragmatic perspective. This research is based on a longitudinal study of the speech of three Tunisian children from the age of one year to the age of four. Consequently, the different competences and skills acquired throughout this period are classified into different types. Then, a comparison is done to see the time of their manifestations in the speech of each child. Subsequently, these utterances are analyzed in relation to their context. The findings reveal that pragmatic competence starts to appear at an extra-linguistic level from the age of one year, and it starts to appear at a linguistic level from the age of two. This shows that, even before the age of three, children are aware of different aspects of pragmatic competence. It is also shown that at the age of two, children are only able to produce different pragmatic strategies but comprehension is delayed to the age of three. Besides, the present research highlights the tight relationship between the early acquisition of extra-linguistic pragmatic competence and the early appearance of more complex skills and competences later.


pragmatic competence, language acquisition pragmatic strategies.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.