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ERIC Number: EJ1101144
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0009-3920
Children's Faithfulness in Imitating Language Use Varies Cross-culturally, Contingent on Prior Experience
Klinger, Jörn; Mayor, Julien; Bannard, Colin
Child Development, v87 n3 p820-833 May-Jun 2016
Despite its recognized importance for cultural transmission, little is known about the role imitation plays in language learning. Three experiments examine how rates of imitation vary as a function of qualitative differences in the way language is used in a small indigenous community in Oaxaca, Mexico and three Western comparison groups. Data from one hundred thirty-eight 3- to 10-year-olds suggests that children selectively imitate when they understand the function of a given linguistic element because their culture makes frequent use of that function. When function is opaque, however, children imitate faithfully. This has implications for how children manage the imitation--innovation trade-off, and offers insight into why children imitate in language learning across development.
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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 (Oaxaca)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A