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Volume :9 Issue : 34 1989      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Direct and Indirect Requests in Pre-School Children's Speech

Auther : Shafiq F. Hassan

 

There is a growing belief in the field of language development that,in order to better understand childrens discourse, it has to be studied Within its social setting. It is important to know who is speaking, to whom he is speaking, and about what he is speaking. This belief led to an enormous body of research dealing with the different characteristics of children and the way these characterisitcs influence the Ian-gauge of those children. Concern also grew rapidly in the characteristics of the listener (familiarity, age, gender, social status, relations with the child and so on), and the way these characteristics affect childrens language. This tendency resulted in a tremendous body of research during a limited period of time (no more than two decades).

Resulting from the concem in the speakers chracteristics and their influence on their speech, the present study aimed at studying two types of requests in the speech of preschool children: direct and in-direct requests. Ninety-four preschool children participated in the study, where each was asked to re-quest something or some information from a doll in three experimental situations.

The findings of the study showed that older children (5;9 Years) as well as younger preschool children (4 years) were able to produce both direct and indirect requests. Older children, however, significantly produced more indirect request forms than their younger counterparts.

The findings were discussed in the light of a sociolinguistic theory of language development, and recommendations for further research were suggested.

 

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