The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 69–80 | Cite as

The behavior of the listener, generic extensions, and the communicative adequacy of verbal behavior

  • Nathan Stemmer


Except for a few words, children first become listeners of a word before becoming speakers of the word. The analysis of listener behavior is therefore of fundamental importance for the complete analysis of verbal behavior. In this paper, some basic aspects of listener behavior are examined: in particular, the events that give origin to the behavior, the generic effects of these events, and intraspecific uniformities between these effects. By relying on the generic effects, the notion of extension is defined. This notion is then used for characterizing correct listener behavior. Finally, the uniformities between the generic effects are shown to play a crucial role in ensuring the communicative adequacy of verbal behavior.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathan Stemmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyBar-Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael

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