Background. The present paper focuses on meta-representational changes occurring in ageing by studying the decline in Definitional Competence, an ability so far little studied in this period of life. Purpose. The paper hypothesises a relation between Theory of Mind (ToM) and Definitional Competence, in a view that posits the former as a preparatory and facilitating competence for a more complex linguistic production, that is lexicographic definition. The effects of levels of education on the decline in ageing for Definitional Competence and ToM are also investigated. Methods. We recruited 24 adults (age range 21–55), 25 young-old adults (age range 60–70) and 25 old-old adults (age range 71–85) and administered them the Eyes task to measure ToM and the Co.De. Scale to assess Definitional Competence. Results. Results suggest that Definitional Competence declines earlier on than ToM, mirroring the well-known process according to which in semantic knowledge, during ageing, taxonomic relations are lost before thematic ones. Our results also show that better levels of education are associated with better performance in both our key constructs and that ToM predicts Definitional Competence, in line with our expectations. Conclusion. The paper offers one of the first systematic studies on the changes in Definitional Competence during the last phase of life and it provides theoretical insights into the relation between ToM and Definitional Competence in ageing. Implications. The paper is informative for future interventions aimed at enhancing linguistic and metalinguistic skills in ageing through the preservation of better levels of awareness and the assumption of a decentralised perspective in interpersonal communication.

(2022). Changes of Meta-Representational Skills in Ageing: First Empirical Evidence on the Relation between Metalinguistic Competence and Attributions of Mental States [journal article - articolo]. In JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE AND EDUCATION. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10446/231169

Changes of Meta-Representational Skills in Ageing: First Empirical Evidence on the Relation between Metalinguistic Competence and Attributions of Mental States

Bianco, Federica;Castelli, Ilaria;
2022

Abstract

Background. The present paper focuses on meta-representational changes occurring in ageing by studying the decline in Definitional Competence, an ability so far little studied in this period of life. Purpose. The paper hypothesises a relation between Theory of Mind (ToM) and Definitional Competence, in a view that posits the former as a preparatory and facilitating competence for a more complex linguistic production, that is lexicographic definition. The effects of levels of education on the decline in ageing for Definitional Competence and ToM are also investigated. Methods. We recruited 24 adults (age range 21–55), 25 young-old adults (age range 60–70) and 25 old-old adults (age range 71–85) and administered them the Eyes task to measure ToM and the Co.De. Scale to assess Definitional Competence. Results. Results suggest that Definitional Competence declines earlier on than ToM, mirroring the well-known process according to which in semantic knowledge, during ageing, taxonomic relations are lost before thematic ones. Our results also show that better levels of education are associated with better performance in both our key constructs and that ToM predicts Definitional Competence, in line with our expectations. Conclusion. The paper offers one of the first systematic studies on the changes in Definitional Competence during the last phase of life and it provides theoretical insights into the relation between ToM and Definitional Competence in ageing. Implications. The paper is informative for future interventions aimed at enhancing linguistic and metalinguistic skills in ageing through the preservation of better levels of awareness and the assumption of a decentralised perspective in interpersonal communication.
articolo
Bianco, Federica; Castelli, Ilaria; Belacchi, Carmen
(2022). Changes of Meta-Representational Skills in Ageing: First Empirical Evidence on the Relation between Metalinguistic Competence and Attributions of Mental States [journal article - articolo]. In JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE AND EDUCATION. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10446/231169
File allegato/i alla scheda:
File Dimensione del file Formato  
pubblicato.pdf

accesso aperto

Versione: publisher's version - versione editoriale
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione del file 282.59 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
282.59 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

Aisberg ©2008 Servizi bibliotecari, Università degli studi di Bergamo | Terms of use/Condizioni di utilizzo

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10446/231169
Citazioni
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact