ERIC Number: ED101567
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1974-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Evidence from Elicited Imitation for Preproductive Competence in a Grammatical System. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, No. 8.
Maratsos, Michael P.; Kuczaj, Stanley A., II
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly (under the title "What a Child Can Do Before He Will"), Apr 1975
A study was undertaken to determine how much knowledge children have of grammatical systems before they evidence the systems in their spontaneous speech in a productive way. A child aged about two and a half years was examined over several months through elicited imitation causing him to repeat a model sentence immediately after the researcher. Three kinds of sentences with modal auxiliaries were used--affirmative declarative sentences, affirmative yes-no questions and affirmative wh- questions--at two periods prior to the child's actual use of these forms. Grammatical and ungrammatical sentences were presented in each category. Correct imitations and efforts to restructure and normalize the sentences showed the child had a fair amount of knowledge of the distributional characteristics of auxiliaries in declarative sentences but little command over those in questions. Results suggest extensive pre-analysis of the auxiliary systems, keeping pace with but preceding spontaneous use of the grammatical forms. (CK)
Descriptors: Child Language, Grammar, Imitation, Language Acquisition, Language Learning Levels, Language Skills, Linguistic Competence, Linguistic Performance, Sentence Structure, Syntax, Verbs
Merrill-Palmer Institute, 71 East Ferry Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48202
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Committee on Linguistics.