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ERIC Number: ED140657
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Mar-25
Stress and Deep Structure: A Measure of Language Acquisition, Grades K-6.
Milner, Joseph O.
A study was undertaken to see whether developmental patterns of language acquisition could be discovered in children beyond age five. Specifically, the study attempted to uncover a pattern in the development of the skill of stress interpretation, or the understanding of the effect of emphasis of a particular word on the deep structure of the language surrounding it. Eight students from kindergarten through grade six were shown four cards, each of which offered a different picture relating to the protocol sentence "Bob didn't throw the football to Sam." The sentence was then played for the students as three different sentences by placing the stress on "throw,""Sam," and "Bob," respectively. Those who understood the effect of stress on deep structure were able to correctly match up the taped sentence and the card depicting the boys' action with the football. The following conclusions were derived from the results of the testing: although correct responses did not increase even by grade level, a developmental pattern of responses did emerge for individuals. Also, males responded correctly more often than did females, first children offered more correct responses than did other children, and top students had more correct responses than did bottom students. (Author/AM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics (March 25, 1977)