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ERIC Number: EJ1011733
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Children's Ability to Answer Different Types of Questions
Salomo, Dorothe; Lieven, Elena; Tomasello, Michael
Journal of Child Language, v40 n2 p469-491 Mar 2013
Young children answer many questions every day. The extent to which they do this in an adult-like way -- following Grice's Maxim of Quantity by providing the requested information, no more no less -- has been studied very little. In an experiment, we found that two-, three- and four-year-old children are quite skilled at answering argument-focus questions and predicate-focus questions with intransitives in which their response requires only a single element. But predicate-focus questions for transitives -- requiring both the predicate and the direct object -- are difficult for children below four years of age. Even more difficult for children this young are sentence-focus questions such as "What's happening?", which give the child no anchor in given information around which to structure their answer. In addition, in a corpus study, we found that parents ask their children predicate-focus and sentence-focus questions very infrequently, thus giving children little experience with them.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A