Children's Speech Revisions for a Familiar and an Unfamiliar Adult Initial characterizations of the communicative abilities of preschoolers stressed their egocentric nature. Recently, however, even 2-year-olds have been observed to adjust their speech appropriately in situations in which the listener provides feedback by signaling noncomprehension. The current study had an adult signal noncomprehension to the requests of 2-year-old Stage I ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1984
Children's Speech Revisions for a Familiar and an Unfamiliar Adult
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael Tomasello
    Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • Michael Jeffrey Farrar
    Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • Jennifer Dines
    Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1984
Children's Speech Revisions for a Familiar and an Unfamiliar Adult
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1984, Vol. 27, 359-363. doi:10.1044/jshr.2703.359
History: Received February 15, 1983 , Accepted February 21, 1984
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1984, Vol. 27, 359-363. doi:10.1044/jshr.2703.359
History: Received February 15, 1983; Accepted February 21, 1984

Initial characterizations of the communicative abilities of preschoolers stressed their egocentric nature. Recently, however, even 2-year-olds have been observed to adjust their speech appropriately in situations in which the listener provides feedback by signaling noncomprehension. The current study had an adult signal noncomprehension to the requests of 2-year-old Stage I and Stage II children. Each child interacted with a familiar (mother) and an unfamiliar adult. The children repeated their requests about one third of the time and revised them about two thirds of the time. Stage I children elaborated their requests significantly more often than Stage II children. The familiarity of the adult listener had no effect on the way Stage II children revised their requests, but the Stage I children's revisions contained novel lexical items more often when they were interacting with the unfamiliar adult. Both of these findings may have resulted from the fact that the more conversationally skilled Stage II children relied on verbal-conversational cues, which were the same for both adult interactants in this situation. The Stage I children may have been less aware of these conversational cues, relying on general social cues such as familiarity of the interactant. The results are discussed in terms of the potential role of different types of adults in the language acquisition process.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access