ERIC Number: ED035449
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Dec
Reference Count: 0
The Role of Underdeterminacy and Reference in the Sentence Recall of Young Children.
Feldman, Carol Fleisher
It was hypothesized that by age 8 children would manifest an adult meaning system, and that 5-year-old children would not. An adult meaning system allows an adult to transcend component word meanings and integrate, in the presence of a speaker, the underdetermined and the factual proposition into a meaningful whole. Subjects were 60 5- and 8-year-old middle class, racially mixed children. Subjects were asked to repeat sentences heard in conversation and on tape. Sentences included: (1) those with referential nouns, (2) those with "modals," and (3) control sentences containing neither. A three-way analysis of variance was computed on age by condition by sentence type, using the two ages, the two conditions, and the modal and control sentences. Results indicate that recall of the modal sentences is better than the control sentences heard in conversation but not heard on tape. The interaction of sentence by age shows that the older, but not the younger, subjects perceive the difference between the modal and control sentences. This supports the hypothesis. All subjects, however, master sentences containing referential nouns. Both the modal and the referential systems seem to be necessary to understand sentence meaning. (JF)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center for Educational Research and Development (DHEW/OE), Washington, DC. Div. of Educational Labs.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana, National Lab. on Early Childhood Education.