ERIC Number: ED199704
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Linguistic Effects on Children's Encoding and Decoding Performance in Japan and the United States.
Foorman, Barbara R.; Kinoshita, Yoshiko
The role of linguistic structure in a referential communication task was examined by comparing encoding and decoding performance of 80 five- and seven-year-old children from Japan and the United States. The linguist structure demanded by the task was the simultaneous encoding and decoding of attributes of size, color, pattern, and shape. (In English such coordination can be accomplished through prenominal adjective ordering rules--"a little brown, spotted dog." Japanese is a more agglutinative language in which the ordering of these attributes is quite flexible.) Subjects were preselected on the basis of a short term memory task. In addition to the communication task, they were given a perceptual matching test to assess the relative saliency of the four attributes. As expected, the saliency of the attributes was similar for American and Japanese children. However, Japanese children were more successful than American children in producing informative messages as well as in comprehending their own encodings and adult encodings. By age seven the American children seemed able to comprehend the linguistically coordinated manner of adult descriptions as well as did the Japanese children. (Author/RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Houston Univ., TX.