ERIC Number: ED193960
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
The Relationship of Form and Content in Children's Discourse Paraphrases.
Snow, David P.
In a verbal memory study of language development, third- through sixth-grade children read and orally recalled short, expository passages which were presented in three syntactic paraphrase forms: (1) complex sentences with preverbal elaboration such as complex subject nominalizations and relative clauses, (2) complex sentences with postverbal elaboration, and (3) simple sentences. Syntactic analysis of the children's best recall samples (those showing high semantic recall) revealed that third through fifth graders tended to paraphrase the target information in simple sentences, regardless of the complexity of the material they had read. Sixth graders, however, maintained the original syntax more often than younger subjects, suggesting a better recall memory for syntactically complex features of discourse. The results corroborate previous findings showing that children's speech in the upper elementary grades shifts towards greater structural complexity. As suggested by Ingram (1975), such a shift may reflect important developmental changes in the linguistic strategies children use during this age range for producing complex sentences in connected discourse. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference of the California Linguistics Association (Long Beach, CA, May 3-4, 1980).