ERIC Number: ED230282
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Development of the Abilities to Produce and Interpret Requests with Nuances.
Becker, Judith A.
Investigations were made of the development of (1) children's abilities to produce and interpret requests with nuances, and (2) the ability to identify requests as being "bossy" or "nice." In the first study, the development of children's ability to produce bossy and nice requests and the linguistic means by which they do so were explored. Twenty 5-year-old children, 20 10-year-old children, and 20 adults pretended to make telephone calls in which they asked peers to return a borrowed item. Each made three requests: a baseline request with no special instructions, a bossy request, and a nice request. Transcripts of tape recordings were coded for level of syntactic directness and number and type of semantic softeners and aggravators. Results showed that while all groups differentiated bossy and nice requests, preschool-age children relied primarily on semantics for differentiation. The second study assessed whether listeners identified requests by adding equally weighted cues or by some other means. Subjects heard 90 tape-recorded requests consisting of 45 different combinations of levels of syntactic directness, semantic aggravators and softeners, and tone. The 45 requests were spoken by a man and by a boy. Results indicated a developmental trend in the way subjects identified requests; with increased age, subjects took more cues into account and made more subtle judgments. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Papers presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (50th, Detroit, MI, April 21-24, 1983) and at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (New Orleans, LA, March 24-27, 1982).