NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1078801
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Aug
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0142-7237
Social and Linguistic Cues Facilitate Children's Register Comprehension
Wagner, Laura; Vega-Mendoza, Mariana; Van Horn, Suzanne
First Language, v34 n4 p299-314 Aug 2014
Speakers must command different linguistic registers to index various social-discourse elements, including the identity of the addressee. Previous work found that English-learning children could link registers to appropriate addressees by 5 years. Two experiments found that better cues to the linguistic form or to the social meaning of register could improve 3-year-old children's ability to access their knowledge of register. Experiment 1 contrasted children acquiring English and Spanish, as Spanish provides more consistent grammatical cues to register through its pronoun system than English does. The Spanish-learning children showed earlier success in a forced-choice comprehension task. Experiment 2 provided English-learning children with enhanced cues to register's social meaning and also found improved performance. These results suggest that the underlying knowledge about register is available from an early age, but can be accessed only with sufficiently strong cues.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico; Ohio
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A