ERIC Number: ED163772
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
First Words: Their Origin in Action. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, No. 13.
Dihoff, Roberta E.; Chapman, Robin S.
Children's early utterances were studied to determine whether there are developmental changes in the content, context, frequency, and form of their speech and the degree to which the changes correspond to changes in Piagetian cognitive stage. Twenty children were studied; six were 10 or 11 months old, and the remaining 14 were distributed evenly in age from 16 to 25 months. One or two sessions were conducted in the child's home with the mothers present. Cognitive assessment was carried out through measures of object permanency, mean-ends, and play as described in Uzgiris and Hunt's (1975) and Lezine's (1973) procedures. The child's speech during play with the mother was noted, along with context, and analyzed for presence or absence of the following categories: communication games, performative vocalization, use of words, action, recurrence, speech to speech, comprehension for absent objects, wh-questions locative, and two-word combinations. Results indicate a general correspondence between linguistic and cognitive periods but less evidence was found to support the claim that a given stage is necessary to the occurrence of a particular milestone. The sequential changes in linguistic content appear to be preceded by similar sequential changes in knowledge of the world. Meanings expressed by the child verbally are meanings constructed through action in the previous sensorimotor stage, or earlier in the same stage. It appears that the developmental level of the child may serve to predict the content of the child's initial utterances, but only indirectly. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.