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Children's Acquisition of Language Routines: The End-of-Meal Routine in Cakchiquel

Margaret Wilhite
Language in Society
Vol. 12, No. 1 (Mar., 1983), pp. 47-64
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4167353
Page Count: 18
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Children's Acquisition of Language Routines: The End-of-Meal Routine in Cakchiquel
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Abstract

In acquiring language, children must acquire not only the structure of the language, but also the rules for using language appropriately in a wide variety of situations. Routines, or rituals, which occur in language provide a special opportunity for studying children's acquisition of this aspect of language because routines emphasize the rules of use over the lexical meaning. Furthermore, routines are limited in terms of the structures which are acceptable, thus naturally controlling for this variable. With the aim of expanding our knowledge of the process of acquisition of routines, this study reports the acquisition by children of a routine used at the end of meals by Cakchiquel-speaking Indians in Guatemala.

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