The Pragmatic Function of Children's Questions The purpose or this study was to investigate the pragmatic function of preschool children's spontaneously produced questions. Twenty-four normal children between the ages of 2 and 5 years were observed in a variety of situations at their day-care centers. Questions produced during these observation periods were categorized by pragmatic function. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 1982
The Pragmatic Function of Children's Questions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sharon L. James
    Syracuse University,New-York
  • Martha A. Seebach
    Syracuse University,New-York
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 1982
The Pragmatic Function of Children's Questions
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1982, Vol. 25, 2-11. doi:10.1044/jshr.2501.02
History: Received January 25, 1980 , Accepted December 1, 1980
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1982, Vol. 25, 2-11. doi:10.1044/jshr.2501.02
History: Received January 25, 1980; Accepted December 1, 1980

The purpose or this study was to investigate the pragmatic function of preschool children's spontaneously produced questions. Twenty-four normal children between the ages of 2 and 5 years were observed in a variety of situations at their day-care centers. Questions produced during these observation periods were categorized by pragmatic function. The three functional categories were information seeking, conversational, and directive. The distribution of the questions among the three pragmatic functions differed with age. The major function of the questions produced by the 2- and 3-year-old subjects was clearly information seeking, hut the -4- and 5-year-olds' questions were more evenly distribute(1 among the functional categories. The 4-year-olds used a high percentage of conversational questions in comparison to the other age groups. The children's question use appeared to follow the principle of using new forms for old functions and old forms for new functions.

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