ERIC Number: ED025333
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1965-Nov-30
Reference Count: 0
The Development of Interrogative Structures in Children's Speech.
The verbal behavior of three children was sampled. The samples were analyzed to obtain a picture of three stages of the children's language development, specifically the interrogative structures. Each stage was about 4- or 5-months long, starting at the 18th to 28th month, depending upon the child's level of linguistic ability. The interrogative structures of primary interest were (1) intonation patterns, (2) auxiliary inversion, (3) negation, (4) WH word (what, who, why, etc.) placement, and (5) tag questions. At stage one, inflections, auxiliaries, articles, and most pronouns were absent. The child used intonation to mark a question. There were no yes-or-no questions and only a few WH questions. There were no tag questions. The child at this stage did not appear to understand the interrogatory structure when he heard it. At stage two, articles, pronouns, and negative preverb forms appeared. Auxiliaries were still not present, nor were tag questions. Stage three included the emergence of the use of auxiliaries, auxiliary inversion, and the do transformation. Inversion and transformation were found in yes-or-no questions but were absent in WH questions. Tag questions were still absent, but the children understood and responded well to questions. An appendix of sample questions obtained from the subjects at each stage is included. (WD)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. Center for Human Growth and Development.