ERIC Number: ED214640
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Conceptual Development and Early Multiword Speech.
The purposes of this study were to investigate (1) the level of development of four target vocal and gestural symbols (Doggie, Cup, Car, and Fiffin, a novel concept), and (2) the relationship of symbolic maturity to the use of symbols in combinations. Thirty infants (15 boys and 15 girls), between 82 and 91 weeks of age, were observed for approximately 45 minutes in a laboratory playroom setting. During the sessions a number of tasks were administered which were designed to assess the children's use of words and conventional gestures, as well as their ability to combine words and gestures. For each target concept, four potential exemplars were presented: a realistic exemplar, an "unusual" exemplar, a perceptually similar member of the same superordinate category, and an object often found with the target object, or related by contiguity. A total of 16 trials were ordered semi-randomly so that no two objects from the same category or level of membership were presented together. The child's utterances during these and other interactions with the experimenter were transcribed. The data were used to obtain several measures of multiword use, including the longest utterance in different content words, the mean length of utterance (MLU) in content words on the five longest utterances, and MLU in morphemes on the five longest utterances. The children's play and language were transcribed by two independent coders. Only actions and utterances agreed upon by both coders were entered into analyses. Results are discussed. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Blocks; Multiword Speech; Symbolic Play
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Infant Studies (Austin, TX, March 1982).