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ERIC Number: ED179100
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Mar-16
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"Wh"-Questions: Linguistic Evidence to Explain the Sequence of Acquisition.
Wootten, Janet; And Others
The use of "wh" forms in questions asked by four children was recorded from age 22 to 36 months, and analyzed. In the emergence of "wh" forms, the children first asked identifying questions with "what" and "who," followed in order by (1) "wh" pronominal questions which ask for major sentence constituents; (2) the "wh" sententials "how,""why," and "when"; and (3) the "wh" adjectivals "which" and "whose.""What" and "where" questions accounted for most of the questions with verbs until 34 months. "Why" questions with verbs began to supplement "where,""how," and "who" questions at 36 months. "What,""where," and "who" questions occurred most often with the copula or pro-verbs; most "why,""which," and "when" questions occurred with descriptive verbs; and "how" questions were evenly divided between the two categories. Later-emerging "wh" forms were used with a greater variety of verbs than earlier forms, in a pattern that suggests the involvement of both the syntactic function of individual "wh" forms and the semantics of descriptive verbs. Finally, the use of ellipsis in forming "wh" questions emerged with the development of the capacity to formulate contingent queries for further information. (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A