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ERIC Number: ED146186
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Apr
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Effects of Paraphrase Alternation and Sentence Complexity on Wh-Questions.
Richek, Margaret Ann
Test questions were phrased according to different sentence structures in a study of the complexity level of items for 220 third-grade children. Both the sensitivity of wh-questions (who, what, where, etc.) as a dependent variable and differences between wh-questions eliciting subject and predicate nouns were investigated. Effects of paraphrase alternations (nouns vs. pronouns) and different levels of complexity in sentences were studied in reference to their effects on wh-questions. Results indicated questions eliciting a subject node were easier than questions eliciting predicate nodes. No significant interactions were observed between questions and paraphrase or complexity variables. Differences in question difficulty might have been due to factors in the question itself or in the sentence. Permutation of sentence elements in questions eliciting predicate nouns was also discussed. The salience of the first noun (the subject) in a sentence was suggested as a possible facilitating effect; evidence supported this theory for the first noun in an independent clause. Further, results implied that two independent clauses are not closely psychologically bound. Overall, questions were shown to be a sensitive measure of comprehension difficulty. (Author/MV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (59th, Washington, D.C., March 31-April 4, 1975)