Dimensions of Individual Difference in the Spoken Syntax of School Children Language produced by 180 children (aged five through 13 years) on a story-telling task was analyzed in terms of 57 variables (part-of-speech frequencies and proportions, syntactic elaboration indexes, and constructional variety measures). A factor analysis revealed five dimensions of syntactic usage: general fluency, embeddedness, finite verb structure, noun phrase structure, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1974
Dimensions of Individual Difference in the Spoken Syntax of School Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Wilbur A. Hass
    University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • Joseph M. Wepman
    University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1974
Dimensions of Individual Difference in the Spoken Syntax of School Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1974, Vol. 17, 455-469. doi:10.1044/jshr.1703.455
History: Received January 16, 1974 , Accepted January 31, 1974
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1974, Vol. 17, 455-469. doi:10.1044/jshr.1703.455
History: Received January 16, 1974; Accepted January 31, 1974

Language produced by 180 children (aged five through 13 years) on a story-telling task was analyzed in terms of 57 variables (part-of-speech frequencies and proportions, syntactic elaboration indexes, and constructional variety measures). A factor analysis revealed five dimensions of syntactic usage: general fluency, embeddedness, finite verb structure, noun phrase structure, and qualified speech. The embeddedness dimension was the only one with a sizable relation to age and is interpretable in terms of a developmental progression in the inclusion of transformationally processed content in the sentence. Among the other stylistic dimensions, fluency, and verbal vs nominal emphases in language appear to be in evidence at various age levels and on different types of variables.

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