Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

The Development of Communication Skills: Modifications in the Speech of Young Children as a Function of Listener

Marilyn Shatz and Rochel Gelman
Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development
Vol. 38, No. 5, The Development of Communication Skills: Modifications in the Speech of Young Children as a Function of Listener (Oct., 1973), pp. 1-38
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1165783
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1165783
Page Count: 41
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($34.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
The Development of Communication Skills: Modifications in the Speech of Young Children as a Function of Listener
Preview not available

Abstract

This "Monograph" reports three studies of the 4-year-old's ability to adjust to a listener. In the first study (Study A) 16 Ss were pretested on modified versions of standard tests of "egocentrism." Following these, the children were asked first to tell an adult about a toy and then tell a 2-year-old about that toy. The eight Ss who had 2-year-old siblings were run on the toy task twice: once in an adult-sibling session, and once in an adult-non-sibling session. Finally, tapes were made of spontaneous conversations between the Ss and their mothers. As expected, the Ss performed poorly on the tests of "egocentrism." In contrast, Ss adjusted their speech production to their different listeners. Speech to 2-year-olds contained more short, simple utterances and more attentional utterances. The younger the 2-year-old, the greater was the observed speech adjustment. All children adjusted their speech whether or not they had younger siblings. In Study B tapes of uncontrolled conversations of five 4-year-olds each talking to a 2-year-old and an adult were obtained. Analyses of speech adjustments revealed a pattern of results like those of Study A. In Study C tapes of eight 4-year-olds talking to peers were collected and compared with the taped conversations with their mothers obtained in the first study. Analyses of the peer-directed versus adult-directed speech showed that, with respect to utterance length, the use of various constructions, and attentional utterances, peers were treated like adults. These results, combined with those of Study A, indicate that the 4-year-old adjusts his speech with regard to the changing capacities of different-aged listeners. The results of these studies are discussed with regard to previous work on the preschooler's communication skills and the variety of listener-produced cues that may influence the 4-year-old's tendency to "talk down." The implications of speaker-listener interaction for the process of language acquisition are considered.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1
    1
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2
    2
  • Thumbnail: Page 
3
    3
  • Thumbnail: Page 
4
    4
  • Thumbnail: Page 
5
    5
  • Thumbnail: Page 
6
    6
  • Thumbnail: Page 
7
    7
  • Thumbnail: Page 
8
    8
  • Thumbnail: Page 
9
    9
  • Thumbnail: Page 
10
    10
  • Thumbnail: Page 
11
    11
  • Thumbnail: Page 
12
    12
  • Thumbnail: Page 
13
    13
  • Thumbnail: Page 
14
    14
  • Thumbnail: Page 
15
    15
  • Thumbnail: Page 
16
    16
  • Thumbnail: Page 
17
    17
  • Thumbnail: Page 
18
    18
  • Thumbnail: Page 
19
    19
  • Thumbnail: Page 
20
    20
  • Thumbnail: Page 
21
    21
  • Thumbnail: Page 
22
    22
  • Thumbnail: Page 
23
    23
  • Thumbnail: Page 
24
    24
  • Thumbnail: Page 
25
    25
  • Thumbnail: Page 
26
    26
  • Thumbnail: Page 
27
    27
  • Thumbnail: Page 
28
    28
  • Thumbnail: Page 
29
    29
  • Thumbnail: Page 
30
    30
  • Thumbnail: Page 
31
    31
  • Thumbnail: Page 
32
    32
  • Thumbnail: Page 
33
    33
  • Thumbnail: Page 
34
    34
  • Thumbnail: Page 
35
    35
  • Thumbnail: Page 
36
    36
  • Thumbnail: Page 
37
    37
  • Thumbnail: Page 
38
    38