ERIC Number: ED249776
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Some Observations on the Syntactic Development of Discourse beyond Childhood.
A study of the syntactic development of discourse in and after adolescence among fluent English speakers in a bilingual community of East Los Angeles focused on subordinate devices not observed until adolescence, such as the relative clause using "which" and clauses using "even though/although." Discourse analysis of these types of clauses revealed that they are symptomatic of the continuing development of strategies for organizing clause-size information units in speech beyond childhood. It is suggested that use of the defining relative ("which") clause awaits development of orientation in narrative and other discourse and depends on learners being able to recognize pragmatic implications of the clauses being commented on by the "which" clause. The case for "even though/although" clauses is not as clear, and although their appearance is much less frequent in this group, they also appear suddenly in adolescence. It is concluded from this analysis and previous research that these clauses provide evidence that in some respects adolescents are faster language learners than preadolescents, but that problems remain in accounting for this advantage to older second language learners with respect to the extent to which cognitive vs. stylistic features are involved in the late age of emergence of the devices. (MSE)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Bilingualism, Child Language, Discourse Analysis, English (Second Language), Language Acquisition, Second Language Learning, Sentence Structure, Syntax, Young Adults
PRCLD, Department of Linguistics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 ($12.00 for entire volume; individual papers not available).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.