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ERIC Number: ED364081
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Oct
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
The Use of Questions in Mandarin Adult-to-Child Speech: Evidence for Social Class Differences.
Tardif, Twila
A study investigated the patterns of question use in Mandarin Chinese-speaking parents' and caregivers' interactions with children, and how they characterize social class differences. Subjects were 10 children, aged 21-23 months, and their families, selected from immunization records in Beijing, China. Parents were all native speakers of Mandarin and were educated at either the high school level or below (working class) or college level or above (intellectuals). Each group contained one female and four male children. Analysis was limited to interactions of the children with individuals who frequently cared for them. Recorded utterances were transcribed and these characteristics of utterances were calculated for each child and adult subject: mean length of utterance; overall frequency of utterances; frequency of caregiver-to-child questions, declaratives, and imperatives; and social class differences found in 10 question types. Results indicate clear social class differences in the relative use of different utterance types in speaking to children, with frequent use of questions and less frequent use of imperatives among intellectuals, paralleling findings in studies of English adult-to-child speech. A brief bibliography and data charts and tables are appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China