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ERIC Number: ED172935
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Early Language Use and the Black Child: A Speech Act Analysis of Mother-Child Inputs and Outputs.
Blake, Ira Kincade
The influence of maternal language use patterns on the use patterns of the child was investigated in a black, low-income mother-child pair over a 20-month period, beginning at the child's 11th month of age. Video recordings were made of the pair's interaction in an unstructured playroom setting approximately every four weeks. Child multi-word utterance types and maternal utterance types were analyzed using a speech act categorrization and classification procedure. Speech acts are identified primarily as what it is that a speaker wishes to communicate when she/he makes an utterance (a request, statement or objection). These speech acts were subsumed under two broader categories, pragmatic and mathetic speech functions. Two types of pragmatic function were identified: (1) a pragmatic function linked to the immediate context, in which the objective of interpersonal contact was to satisfy personal needs or desires; and (2) a pragmatic function conveying social information in which the objective of interpersonal contact appeared to be to increase the child's awareness of social information. The mathetic function is defined as language being used to learn more about one's world. Results indicated that the mother's use patterns did influence the direction of verbal interaction for the child, and that the mother expressed a preference for verbal interaction that was pragmatic in nature and conveyed social rather than referential information. (Author/SS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979)