Sentence Comprehension in Two Age Groups of Children as Related to Pause Position or the Absence of Pauses Sentences recorded with pauses at major phrase boundaries, pauses within major phrase boundaries, and with no pauses were presented to 18 children with a mean age of three years, eight months, and to 18 children with a mean age of five years, three months, on a sentence comprehension task. The ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1973
Sentence Comprehension in Two Age Groups of Children as Related to Pause Position or the Absence of Pauses
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joseph L. LaBelle
    Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1973
Sentence Comprehension in Two Age Groups of Children as Related to Pause Position or the Absence of Pauses
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1973, Vol. 16, 231-237. doi:10.1044/jshr.1602.231
History: Received March 1, 1972 , Accepted September 15, 1972
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1973, Vol. 16, 231-237. doi:10.1044/jshr.1602.231
History: Received March 1, 1972; Accepted September 15, 1972

Sentences recorded with pauses at major phrase boundaries, pauses within major phrase boundaries, and with no pauses were presented to 18 children with a mean age of three years, eight months, and to 18 children with a mean age of five years, three months, on a sentence comprehension task. The younger children made significantly fewer errors when pauses were placed at major phrase boundaries than when they were placed within major phrase boundaries or were not present. The presence or absence of pauses did not significantly affect the sentence comprehension performance of the older children. The results suggest that the ability to segment sentences perceptually is a developmental phenomena, in that the younger children could not as readily comprehend sentences with structurally irrelevant cues or no cues at all. The results also suggest that the phrase may be a unit, although not necessarily the only unit, involved in sentence comprehension.

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