Answers to Wh-Questions A Developmental Study Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1984
Answers to Wh-Questions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Martha M. Parnell
    University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Shirley S. Patterson
    University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Marcia A. Harding
    Arkansas Department of Education, Little Rock
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1984
Answers to Wh-Questions
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1984, Vol. 27, 297-305. doi:10.1044/jshr.2702.297
History: Received July 19, 1982 , Accepted February 9, 1984
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1984, Vol. 27, 297-305. doi:10.1044/jshr.2702.297
History: Received July 19, 1982; Accepted February 9, 1984

Forty children aged 3–6 years responded to items representing nine wh-question forms. Questions referred to three types of referential sources (conditions) based on immediacy and visual availability. The hierarchies of wh-question forms based on degree of difficulty were similar to those described in previous investigations. However, a significant interaction between referential conditions and wh-form was found to influence the relative complexity of the stimulus questions. The children were significantly less successful in giving appropriate and accurate responses when the question referred to objects, persons, or events not represented in the immediate setting. Recognition and delivery of the general category or kind of information required by a wh-form (functional appropriateness) appeared to predate substantially the ability to respond with fact, accuracy, logic, and credibility (functional accuracy). The results suggest consideration and control of referential source as well as appropriateness/accuracy response criteria in the evaluation and treatment of language-disordered children.

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