UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 8 (1996)

Modules and quasi-modules: language and theory of mind in a polyglot savant



In this paper we provide further evidence from the polyglot savant, Christopher, for the nature of Theory of Mind. In particular, we exploit a distinction between modules as classically defined (Fodor, 1983), and 'quasi-modules'. While the latter have the domain-specificity of modules, they are not informationally encapsulated and they exploit a non-perceptual vocabulary. We report the results of his performance on a variety of false belief tasks, showing that differences inherent in the various tasks allow for an explanation of his apparently inconsistent behaviour, which in turn provides evidence for the 'quasi-modularity' of his Theory of Mind.

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