ERIC Number: ED163778
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977-Aug
Young Children's Knowledge of Role-Related Speech Differences: A Mommy Is Not a Daddy Is Not a Baby. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, No. 13.
Andersen, Elaine S.
A study was undertaken to determine whether young children are aware of sociolinguistic and social interactional differences in language use and of the appropriateness of varied linguistic forms in particular situations, roles and relationship. The speech of 24 children ranging in age from 3 years, 9 months to 7 years, 1 month was recorded in role-playing situations. The aspect of the study presented in this paper describes what five-year-old children consider appropriate speech for different family members. Generally fathers' speech was straightforward, unqualified and forceful while mothers' speech was polite, qualified and softer. The language of both parents demarcated their roles within the family. The speech of the young child was marked with a number of phonological, prosodic and lexical characteristics unique to this register. Results are also presented of some quantitative analyses of the distribution of some lexical items and directive types. Differences were found in the use of baby talk words, endearments and boundary markers ("Well,""now," etc) and in the kinds of directives used with each role. Two points stressed in conclusion are the advantages of using children's role-playing speech for research and the importance of going beyond standard measures of linguistic development in assessing what children know about language. (AMH)
Descriptors: Child Language, Communicative Competence (Languages), Language Acquisition, Language Patterns, Language Research, Language Styles, Language Usage, Parent Child Relationship, Parents, Preschool Children, Psycholinguistics, Role Perception, Role Playing, Social Behavior, Social Relations, Sociolinguistics, Speech, Speech Communication, Vocabulary
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.