ERIC Number: ED194211
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Determinants of Word-Choice in Mothers' Speech to Three-Year-Olds.
Bullock, Daniel; Zare, Susan
This study tests a proposition derived from Wittgenstein's theory of language development, which suggests that a social activity framework shared by interacting members serves two primary functions. Just as the activity framework prepares the child to comprehend speech relevant to the shared activity, (Function One), so it prepares the parent to generate speech relevant to the shared activity (Function Two). These functions are thought to be jointly necessary to ensure transmission of language from one generation to the next. Prior research has shown that such frameworks determine how children comprehend novel speech constituents (Function One). However, if Function One for shared activity frameworks is correct, then under natural conditions the activity framework itself should determine the content of the utterances which parents address to children (Function Two). Therefore, the spontaneous speech of mothers while they helped their children perform matching-games was investigated. Analyses of speech from 24 mothers, who interacted with their three-year-olds in the contexts of three matching-games, revealed that parents and children share criteria of remarkability. That is, parents often give expression to what children would themselves note, if they had the linguistic means. These results are taken to confirm the first function proposed for shared activity frameworks. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Situational Variables; Social Activity Frameworks; Wittgenstein (Ludwig); Word Choice
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (88th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 1-5, 1980).