Misunderstanding due to lexical ambiguity arising in a dialogue has been chosen as a favorable case of an auditor's false belief about the communicative intention of the speaker. Children were faced with a conversation about objects between two speakers (represented by puppets) who used the French noun glace in two different meanings ("mirror" and "icecream") and were then asked to explain the utterances occurred (detection question) and to predict the next exchange (repair question). 48 children aged 4 to 8 participated individually in this study. Results show that detection in terms of the speaker's false belief as well as appropriate conversational repair of misunderstanding, very unfrequent in the youngest group, gradually develop with age. However, young children are often efficient in pursuing the speakers initial intent to obtain the desired object. Reaction patterns evidenced by intra-individual analysis will be discussed in the perspective of the relation between metacognitive and metapragmatic competences.
KEYWORDS: lexical ambiguity, theory of mind, language development, metapragmatic competences