ERIC Number: ED242217
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Acquisition of Conditionals: The Interaction of Language and Cognition.
A study examining the initial stages in the acquisition of the conditional system is reported. The objective was to discover how morphological productivity is related to the child's comprehension of the semantics of individual conditional types. Schachter's model of reality and unreality conditionals was used as a framework. Eight middle class, monolingual English-speaking children aged 2.6 - 3.2 were assigned production and comprehension tasks to elicit the different conditionals. Subject unwillingness and limited language abilities complicated the study. Results showed a wide range of abilities in conditional production, available morphology, and comprehension of the conditional types, showing very individual approaches to integrating the morphological and semantic components, and implicitly, the requisite cognitive notions involved in conditionals. The diversity in approaches to language acquisition suggests that: (1) for each child, individual systems (e.g., morphology or semantics) have individual timetables, implying an initial independence of systems that later become integrated; and (2) although the sequence of development within a particular system is generally predictable, growth within two adjacent systems is not necessarily parallel and development in one does not immediately predict development in another. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Boston University Conference on Child Language Development (8th, Boston, MA, October 7-9, 1983).