ERIC Number: ED184140
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Feb
Reference Count: 0
The Conversational Unit: An Investigation of Communicative Competence in Emerging Language.
The development of the Conversational Unit (CU) was investigated in a semilongitudinal study of three mother/son dyads in nonstructured spontaneous communication. The children were 19 to 23 months old at the start of the investigation. Sound films were recorded monthly during bathing and feeding times. After four months, verbal and nonverbal interactions were transcribed and the conversational units--verbal exchanges on one topic--were identified and timed. Inter- and intrasubject comparison of CU length, conversation initiator, and topic temporality were computed. Patterns of CUs were similar for all subjects. Gestural support of CUs was similar for all dyads over time. Ability to sustain conversation significantly increased for two subjects. Changes in initiating conversation were dependent on maternal role. CUs accounted for 50% of the samples taken during the fourth month. Evidence of emerging communicative competence was seen in conversation participation, communication about past and future, and functional use of language for communicative purposes. (Author/RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Interdisciplinary UAP-USC Conference on Piagetian Theory and the Helping Professions (10th, Los Angeles, CA, February 1-2, 1980).