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Gerlind Große

photo Gerlind Große

Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
D-04103 Leipzig

0049 (0) 341 3550 407
0049 (0) 341 3550 444



Research interests:

I am interested in the cognitive and motivational bases of human communication and children’s language acquisition from a functional and social cognitive perspective.

Early Communication

  • Cognitive and motivational prerequisites for communication in children
  • Cooperative communication, esp. cooperative imperatives and requests
  • Inferential processes and their bases in language comprehension
  • Development of pragmatic abilities

Origins of Shared Intentionality

  • Development of intersubjectivity: transition from primary to secondary intersubjectivity
  • Characteristics of early interaction modes, e.g. teasing, playing, humour
  • Emotional-motivational components to social-cognitive development


Ongoing projects:


  • Comprehension, affective impact and reciprocation of teasing behaviour in infants (with Livia Colle, Tanya Behne, and Michael Tomasello)
  • Production of hidden authorship in 3- and 5-year-olds (with Thom Scott-Philipps, Michael Tomasello)
  • Interspecies comparison of request comprehension (with David Buttelmann and Juliane Kaminski)
  • Special pointing diary study (with Malinda Carpenter et al.)
  • Informativeness inferences in 2 – 3-year-old children (with Napoleon Katsos and Ira Noveck)

Theoretical work:

  • Intentions involved in ostensive-inferential communication
  • Cooperative reasoning for ostensive-inferential communication (with Conny Schulze and Suse Grassmann)
  • Development of a pragmatics inventory for infants and toddlers