Development of Topic Manipulation Skills in Discourse This study investigated the manipulation of discourse topic in spontaneous conversation in three age groups. Subjects consisted of six dyads of peers at each of the following age levels (years:months): 5:0–5:11, 9:0–9:11, and adults. Fifteen min of discourse were taped, transcribed, and analyzed for each age level. Patterns of topic ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1984
Development of Topic Manipulation Skills in Discourse
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Bonnie Brinton
    University of Nevada, Reno
  • Martin Fujiki
    University of Nevada, Reno
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1984
Development of Topic Manipulation Skills in Discourse
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1984, Vol. 27, 350-358. doi:10.1044/jshr.2703.350
History: Received January 3, 1983 , Accepted February 9, 1984
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1984, Vol. 27, 350-358. doi:10.1044/jshr.2703.350
History: Received January 3, 1983; Accepted February 9, 1984

This study investigated the manipulation of discourse topic in spontaneous conversation in three age groups. Subjects consisted of six dyads of peers at each of the following age levels (years:months): 5:0–5:11, 9:0–9:11, and adults. Fifteen min of discourse were taped, transcribed, and analyzed for each age level. Patterns of topic introduction, reintroduction, maintenance, and shading were considered at each age level. Although considerable variation within groups was evident, the results suggested several developmental trends. The number of topics introduced and reintroduced in the sampling period decreased with age, whereas the proportion of topics maintained increased with age. Additionally, subjects maintained topics for longer sequences of utterances with increasing age. Topic shading also increased with age. These results are discussed with regard to patterns of development, and clinical implications are considered.

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