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ERIC Number: ED072449
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971
Pages: 240
Abstractor: N/A
The Effects of Subordinate Clause Type, Position, and Number on the Development of Children's Perceptions of the Relationships Among Clauses in Complex Sentences.
Billington, David Rex
Aspects of syntax and semantics which affect sentence comprehensibility were investigated for their effects on children's understanding of the dependency relationship of subordinate to main clauses in sentences. Children in grades 2, 4, 6, and 8 were asked to select the main content from orally presented sentences by checking a picture which illustrated the predicate of the clause they selected. Subordinate conjunctions used included because (causal), although (concessional), so that (purposive), if (conditional), as fast as (comparative), and while (temporal). Sentences were right branching, left branching, or center embedded constructions, containing either two or three clauses. The results of Experiment I indicated an improvement in performance over grades, neither significant nor consistent differences in performance between sex and IQ groups, more correct responses to concessional and purposive conjunctions, higher scores for right branching, and for comparative, temporal, and causal conjunctions over conditional conjunctions, and a preference for the first clause. Experiment II additionally revealed that one-main-clause sentences were more often responded to correctly and that position effects interacted significantly with grade, type, and number-of-clause effects. (Author/HS)
University Microfilms, A Xerox Company, Dissertation Copies, Post Office Box 1764, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106 (Order No. 72-8218, MFilm $4.00, Xerography $10.00)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Iowa