ERIC Number: ED176927
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Relational Term Usage in Navajo Children.
Ferraro, Douglas P.; Odell, Sandra J.
In an experiment designed to determine their use of relational terms, 168 Navajo children aged 5 to adult attempted three relational tasks regarding the concepts of upward, downward, and equality comparison in the areas of mass, number, and continuous quantity. All subjects used the relational terms of "more", "less", and "same" correctly in all three content areas. However, the spontaneous use of the term "same" was significantly greater than that of "more" or "less". The mean number of subjects aged 11 who spontaneously used the term "same" was 22, while the age 11 means for the terms "less" and "more" were 2 and 3, respectively. The Navajo language apparently treats the concepts of "more" and "less" differently from the concept of "same", even though all are absolute concepts. Children whose first language is Navajo may continue to conceptualize in an absolute, non-relational manner even in subsequent uses of English. If the use of relational terms is a predictor of Piagetian conservation acquisition, a "time-lag" in attaining conservation is expected in speakers whose first language is Navajo. (Author/SB)
Descriptors: Abstract Reasoning, American Indian Languages, American Indian Reservations, American Indians, Bilingualism, Child Development, Children, Cognitive Development, Concept Formation, Conservation (Concept), Cultural Differences, Developmental Psychology, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Language Research, Native Speakers, Navajo, Relationship
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Navajo (Nation); Piagetian Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Meetings (Las Vegas, Nevada, April, 1979)