ERIC Number: ED269737
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Why Short Subjects Are Harder to Find Than Long Ones. Technical Report No. 527. Revised.
Read, Charles; And Others
Children and adults participated in a series of experiments to examine certain cues to surface constituency that are salient to children in the recognition of syntactic structure. Cue recognition was studied through a set of experiments requiring seven-year-old children to repeat certain syntactic constituents. It was found that the children could identify subject and predicate phrases with great accuracy, but that their performance appeared to depend on prosodic cues, as indicated by their poorer success in identifying single pronoun subjects and subjects of sentences with misleading intonation contours. The experiments suggested that duration (phrase-final lengthening) was important in children's recognition of structure and that children might be more heavily dependent on prosodic signals of syntactic structure than adults. In addition, the experiments suggested that children's reliance on prosodic cues might relate to the difficulty many beginning readers have in comprehending what they read, even when they know the individual words in a written sentence, since prosodic cues are not systematically preserved in written language. (An appendix contains lists of sentences used in the experiments.) (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Research and Development Center for Individualized Schooling.
Note: A report from the Project on Studies in Language: Reading and Communication. Revision of ED 166 671.