University of Oulu

Gabbatore, I., Bosco, F. M., Mäkinen, L., Leinonen, E., & Loukusa, S. (2021). Social-pragmatic contextual comprehension in Italian preschool and school-aged children: a study using the Pragma test. Intercultural Pragmatics, 18(2), 131–162.

Social-pragmatic contextual comprehension in Italian preschool and school-aged children : a study using the Pragma test

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Author: Gabbatore, Ilaria1; Bosco, Francesca M.1; Mäkinen, Leena2;
Organizations: 1University of Turin, Turin, Italy
2University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: De Gruyter, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-05-24


Efficient communication requires the interplay of linguistic, cognitive and social skills, including the ability to make contextual inferences and to understand others’ intentions and emotions. The capacity to effectively use language in specific contexts (i.e., pragmatic ability) develops with age, and an assessment of this ability is important for understanding both typical and atypical development. The Pragma test was originally developed and validated on Finnish children to assess social-pragmatic comprehension. The present study utilizes a slightly adapted version of the Pragma test, translated into Italian, and presents the results of the test given to 110 typically developing Italian children (4–8 years of age). The Italian version of the Pragma test shows content and concurrent validity, interrater reliability, and internal consistency, and it proves to be sensitive in detecting an age-dependent pattern of performance, across pre-school and school age children, in the pragmatic parameters investigated. The present study has ramifications for clinical contexts, as data for typical pragmatic development enables identification of strengths and weaknesses in the pragmatic performance in clinical populations. Finally, the results indicate that the Pragma test is relevant to both Finnish and Italian cultural contexts, thus providing the opportunity to make cross-cultural comparisons.

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Series: Intercultural pragmatics
ISSN: 1612-295X
ISSN-E: 1613-365X
ISSN-L: 1612-295X
Volume: 18
Issue: 2
Pages: 131 - 162
DOI: 10.1515/ip-2021-2001
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
Funding: This research was financially supported by the Academy of Finland (Decision number: 333672) and by Compagnia di San Paolo: Bando Ex-post University of Turin (Grant Number: D11G19000220007).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 333672
Detailed Information: 333672 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 Ilaria Gabbatore et al., published by De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.