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The Control of Animate and Inanimate Components in Pretend Play and Language

Roberta Corrigan
Child Development
Vol. 53, No. 5 (Oct., 1982), pp. 1343-1353
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1129025
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129025
Page Count: 11
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The Control of Animate and Inanimate Components in Pretend Play and Language
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Abstract

The cognitive skills required in both pretend play and language were examined in 2 studies. It was hypothesized that the ability to manipulate different numbers of animate and inanimate components in pretending would relate to the production of animate-inanimate components in language. Children were asked to imitate pretend-play behaviors, demonstrated by an adult model, for each step in a 6-step sequence. They were also asked to imitate 8 sentences that varied in the number of animate or inanimate components expressed. Analyses showed scalable sequences of animate-inanimate relationships in both pretending and language. As hypothesized, the control of animate and inanimate components in language and play were significantly related. In both their play and language, children showed increasing flexibility in their use of nonprototypical constructions.

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