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Young children’s speech act comprehension : the role of linguistic and contextual information 1985

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YOUNG CHILDREN'S SPEECH ACT COMPREHENSION: THE ROLE OF LINGUISTIC AND CONTEXTUAL INFORMATION by P. JANE WAKEFIELD B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1974 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Language E d u c a t i o n We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d -THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1985 © P. Jane W a k e f i e l d , 1985 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the re q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and st u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head of my Department or by h i s or her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of Language E d u c a t i o n The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date: A p r i l , 1985 A b s t r a c t T h i s study a d d r e s s e s the q u e s t i o n of the n e c e s s i t y of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t i n c h i l d r e n ' s comprehension of speech a c t s . In i n v e s t i g a t i n g t h i s a s p e c t of communicative competence i n c h i l d r e n the st u d y c o n s i d e r e d the r e l a t i v e importance of age (3, 4), c o n t e x t (Requests, Q u e s t i o n s , and O f f e r s ) , and q u a n t i t y of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t . Two f a c t o r i a l e x p e r i m e n t s were c o n d u c t e d i n which 54 t h r e e and f o u r - y e a r - o l d c h i l d r e n were a d m i n i s t e r e d a d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k , where, through puppet p l a y , c o n t e x t s were c o n s t r u c t e d f o r u t t e r a n c e s i n o r d e r t o s i m u l a t e p a r t i c u l a r speech a c t s . Judgments of the i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e of such c o n t e x t s were e l i c i t e d by h a v i n g c h i l d r e n d e c i d e which one of two pa r a p h r a s e d u t t e r a n c e s matched the s t i m u l u s u t t e r a n c e . Q u a n t i t y of l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n i n the s t i m u l u s p r e s e n t a t i o n s was p r o g r e s s i v e l y reduced. W h i l e younger c h i l d r e n ' s performance was r e l a t i v e l y u n a f f e c t e d by the r e d u c t i o n of l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n , the o l d e r c h i l d r e n ' s d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of speech a c t s was r e l a t i v e l y a d v e r s e l y a f f e c t e d . These f i n d i n g s were s u p p o r t e d by a d d i t i o n a l data from an e l i c i t e d i m i t a t i o n t a s k and spontaneous r e s p o n s e s . A d e v e l o p m e n t a l s h i f t i s p r o p o s e d , from more d i r e c t c o n t e x t - d e p e n d e n t s t r a t e g i e s of speech a c t p r o c e s s i n g t o a l a t e r more l i n e a r or t e x t - d e p e n d e n t approach l i n k e d t o d e v e l o p i n g l i n g u i s t i c awareness. Table of Contents CHAPTER ONE: A PRAGMATIC PERSPECTIVE ON LANGUAGE COMPETENCE . . . . 1 1.1 I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 1.1.1 T h e o r e t i c a l S i g n i f i c a n c e of the Study 3 1.1.2 P r a c t i c a l S i g n i f i c a n c e of the Study 5 1 . 2 Overview 7 CHAPTER TWO: THEORETICAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL PERSPECTIVES ON SPEECH ACT COMPREHENSION 8 2.1 Speech Act Theory 8 2.2 The Comprehension of I n d i r e c t Speech A c t s 11 2.3 Developmental S t u d i e s of Speech A c t s 19 2.4 The Development of L i n g u i s t i c Awareness 23 2.5 R a t i o n a l e of the Study 25 CHAPTER THREE: EXPERIMENT I - REQUESTS AND OFFERS .. ..27 3.1 E x p e r i m e n t a l Hypotheses 27 3.2 Method 28 3.2.1 Design 28 3.2.2 S u b j e c t s 29 3.2.3 CONTEXT 3 0 3.2.4 QUANTITY 31 3.2.5 M a t e r i a l s 32 3.2.5.1 P h y s i c a l S e t t i n g 32 3.2.5.2 The Request C o n t e x t 33 3.2.5.3 The O f f e r C o n t e x t 33 3.2.5.4 D i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k s t i m u l u s items ...33 3.2.5.5 D i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k response items ...36 3.2.5.6 Equipment 37 3.2.6 P r o c e d u r e 37 3.2.6.1 P r a c t i c e T r i a l s 37 3.2.6.2 Te s t S e s s i o n s 41 3.2.7 Coding and A n a l y s i s 42 3.3 R e s u l t s 42 3.4 D i s c u s s i o n 47 CHAPTER FOUR: EXPERIMENT I I - REQUESTS AND QUESTIONS 52 4.1 ' E x p e r i m e n t a l Hypotheses 52 4.2 Method 53 4.-2 . 1 Design 53 4.2.2 S u b j e c t s 53 4.2.3 CONTEXT 54 4.2.4 QUANTITY 54 4.2.5 M a t e r i a l s 54 4.2.5.1 The Request C o n t e x t 55 4.2.5.2 The Q u e s t i o n Context 55 4.2.5.3 P r a c t i c e and Test S e s s i o n s 57 4.2.5.4 A n a l y s i s 57 4.3 R e s u l t s 57 4.4 D i s c u s s i o n 62 CHAPTER FIVE: THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE IN SPEECH ACT COMPREHENSION 68 5.1 G e n e r a l D i s c u s s i o n 68 5.1.1 Age X Q u a n t i t y 68 ' 5.1.2 Age X Co n t e x t 69 5.2 Summary of E x p e r i m e n t a l F i n d i n g s 70 5.3 C o n c l u s i o n s and I m p l i c a t i o n s 71 i v REFERENCES APPENDICES L i s t of T a b l e s F a c t o r i a l Design w i t h s u b j e c t s i n each age group randomly a s s i g n e d t o the q u a n t i t y f a c t o r and w i t h r e p e a t e d measures on the c o n t e x t u a l f a c t o r 30 Order of D i s c r i m i n a t i o n Task Items .....36 D i s c r i m i n a t i o n Task Means - R e q u e s t / O f f e r C o n t r a s t .43 D i s c r i m i n a t i o n Task Means - R e q u e s t / Q u e s t i o n C o n t r a s t 58 v i L i s t of F i g u r e s 1. L i n e a r P r o c e s s i n g of I l l o c u t i o n a r y F o r c e 14 2. D i r e c t P r o c e s s i n g of I l l o c u t i o n a r y F o r c e • 14 3. C o n s t r u c t e d C o n t e x t , REQUEST C o n d i t i o n 34 4. C o n s t r u c t e d C o n t e x t , OFFER C o n d i t i o n .....35 5. Mean Number of P r e d i c t e d Responses of 3 and 4 - y e a r - o l d s as a f u n c t i o n of QUANTITY, Experiment I ..45 6. Mean Number of P r e d i c t e d Responses of 3 and 4 - y e a r - o l d s as a f u n c t i o n of CONTEXT, Experiment I .46 7. C o n s t r u c t e d C o n t e x t , QUESTION C o n d i t i o n 56 8. Mean Number of P r e d i c t e d Request and Q u e s t i o n Responses as a f u n c t i o n of QUANTITY, Experiment I I .60 9.0. Mean Number of P r e d i c t e d Request and Q u e s t i o n Responses of 3 and 4 - y e a r - o l d s as a f u n c t i o n of QUANTITY,Experiment I I 61 9.1. Mean Number of P r e d i c t e d Request and Q u e s t i o n Responses of 3 - y e a r - o l d s as a f u n c t i o n of QUANTITY, Experiment I I 65 9.2. Mean Number of P r e d i c t e d Request and Q u e s t i o n Responses of 4 - y e a r - o l d s as a f u n c t i o n of QUANTITY, Experiment I I 66 v i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS T h i s r e s e a r c h was su p p o r t e d by a S o c i a l S c i e n c e s and Hum a n i t i e s Research C o u n c i l of Canada g r a n t no. 410-83-1262 to Kenneth Reeder as p a r t of the p r o j e c t "Young C h i l d r e n ' s Comprehension of Speech A c t s " . I owe an immense debt of g r a t i t u d e t o Dr. Kenneth Reeder f o r h i s p a t i e n c e , encouragement, and t h o u g h t f u l i n s i g h t . As my a d v i s o r and f r i e n d , he has p r o v i d e d support at e v e r y s t a g e of my work. I am e x t r e m e l y g r a t e f u l t o Dr. H i l l e l Goelman f o r g e n e r o u s l y s h a r i n g h i s knowledge and e x p e r i e n c e and t o Dr. G l e n Dixon f o r h i s a d v i c e and i n t e r e s t as w e l l as f a c i l i t a t i n g the t e s t i n g s c h e d u l e . My s i n c e r e t hanks a l s o t o Dr. R i t a Watson f o r her c o n s t r u c t i v e comments. S p e c i a l thanks t o my f a t h e r , Dr. George W a k e f i e l d , f o r h i s a s s i s t a n c e i n c o n s t r u c t i n g t e s t m a t e r i a l s . I am e q u a l l y i n d e b t e d t o Jay Handel f o r h i s i n v a l u a b l e h e l p i n t e x t - p r o c e s s i n g t h i s t h e s i s and t o Bob P r o s s e r f o r h i s s t a t i s t i c a l c o n s u l t a t i o n . G r a t e f u l acknowledgement i s g i v e n t o the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia C h i l d Study C e n t r e i n a l l o w i n g us t o c a r r y out t h i s s t u d y . The c o o p e r a t i o n of the s t a f f has been most generous. F i n a l l y , I would l i k e t o thank the c h i l d r e n f o r t h e i r e n t h u s i a s t i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n b oth p i l o t and e x p e r i m e n t a l s e s s i o n s . v i i i CHAPTER ONE A PRAGMATIC PERSPECTIVE ON LANGUAGE COMPETENCE 1.1 INTRODUCTION S u c c e s s f u l communication depends not o n l y on the knowledge and assumptions shared by p a r t i c i p a n t s about the form of an u t t e r a n c e but a l s o the f u n c t i o n s and the c o n d i t i o n s under which i t can occur ( S e a r l e , 1969). Contemporary t h e o r i e s of language a c q u i s i t i o n have s h i f t e d from a f o c u s on l i n g u i s t i c s t r u c t u r e s t o a broader p r a g m a t i c p e r s p e c t i v e which r e c o g n i z e s t h a t language i s an i n t e r a c t i v e p r o c e s s which t a k e s p l a c e i n v a r i o u s s o c i a l and c o g n i t i v e c o n t e x t s f o r d i f f e r e n t purposes ( B a t e s , 1976; Bloom & Lahey, 1978; Ochs, 1979). In o r d e r t o f u n c t i o n as an e f f e c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t i n communicative i n t e r a c t i o n , a c h i l d must l e a r n t o use not o n l y the p h o n o l o g i c a l , s y n t a c t i c , and semantic a s p e c t s of language, but the pragm a t i c a s p e c t s as w e l l . A major t a s k f o r the c h i l d i n the c o u r s e of language development i s the g r a d u a l move away from c o n t e x t u a l l y bound cues i n working out the r e l a t i o n s h i p between meaning and form (Bloom, 1974). I t i s through the study of p r a g m a t i c s t h a t our u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the development of communicative competence can be enhanced. Hymes (1972) c o i n e d t h i s term t o d e s c r i b e the a b i l i t y of s p e a k e r - h e a r e r s t o use t h e i r knowledge of form and c o n t e n t a p p r o p r i a t e l y and e f f e c t i v e l y i n c o n v e r s a t i o n a l c o n t e x t s . F o r m a l i s t i c approaches which study l i n g u i s t i c u t t e r a n c e s i n i s o l a t i o n f a i l t o account f o r 1 2 the o r i e n t a t i o n of language towards communication. Language o c c u r s i n an a c t i o n c o n t e x t , not as an i s o l a t e d form of i n p u t . L i k e a c o r r i d o r through which passage i s n e c e s s a r y i n o r d e r t o e n t e r and e x i t the v a r i o u s rooms opening on t o i t , p r a g m a t i c s s e r v e s as the framework f o r s t u d y i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p between l i n g u i s t i c , s o c i a l , and c o g n i t i v e development ( B a t e s , 1976; W. James, 1975). Speech a c t t h e o r y , one p a r t i c u l a r a s p e c t of p r a g m a t i c s , has p r o v i d e d the c o n n e c t i o n between l i n g u i s t i c and s o c i a l t h e o r y . I t p o s t u l a t e s t h a t the communicative i n t e n t , or the i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e , u s i n g S e a r l e ' s term, i s d e t e r m i n e d by the i n f e r e n c e s made about the c o n t e x t of an u t t e r a n c e t o g e t h e r w i t h knowledge of how l i n g u i s t i c p r o p o s i t i o n s are used. I t i s the speech a c t which g i v e s a l i n g u i s t i c u t t e r a n c e i t s communicative sense ( B i e r w i s c h , 1980) and thus i t i s the speech a c t r a t h e r than the sentence which i s the b a s i c u n i t of communication ( S e a r l e , 1969). Thus, i f we are t o p r o v i d e a more complete p i c t u r e of the development of young c h i l d r e n i n t o competent language u s e r s , more l i g h t must be shed upon the e x t e n t t o which t h i s p r a g m a t i c a b i l i t y e x i s t s and i s put t o use. That i s , how do they l e a r n t o c o o r d i n a t e the l i n g u i s t i c f e a t u r e s of an u t t e r a n c e w i t h e x t r a l i n g u i s t i c s i g n a l s i n i n f e r r i n g the s p e a k e r ' s i n t e n t i o n ? I t i s w i t h t h i s a s p e c t of p r a g m a t i c s t h a t the p r e s e n t study i s c o n c e r n e d . Of s p e c i f i c i n t e r e s t i s the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of some s e l e c t e d v a r i a b l e s which might a f f e c t young c h i l d r e n ' s comprehension of speech a c t s . 3 1.1.1 THEORETICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY A number of s t u d i e s which have i n v e s t i g a t e d the development of p r a g m a t i c competence have shown t h a t v e r y young c h i l d r e n are c a p a b l e of i n t e r p r e t i n g the communicative i n t e n t of an u t t e r a n c e even when i t i s not e x p l i c i t l y s t a t e d (Ackerman,•1978; E r v i n - T r i p p , 1976; Reeder, 1980; S h a t z , 1978). The p r o c e s s by which c h i l d r e n d e v e l o p the a p p r o p r i a t e s t r a t e g i e s t o i n f e r the i n d i r e c t meaning, however, i s not c l e a r l y u n d e r s t o o d . How does a c h i l d , f o r example, d i s c e r n the d i f f e r e n c e between " I t ' s time f o r bed" as a r e q u e s t and " I t ' s time f o r Sesame S t r e e t " as an a s s e r t i o n ? Speech a c t t h e o r y c l a i m s t h a t knowledge of both p r o p o s i t i o n a l and n o n - p r o p o s i t i o n a l f e l i c i t y c o n d i t i o n s a r e n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n s t o a s s i g n i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e . However, i t has been argued ( S h a t z , 1983) t h a t a t t r i b u t i n g t o c h i l d r e n such a s o p h i s t i c a t e d u n d e r s t a n d i n g of how l i n g u i s t i c and c o n t e x t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n a r e c o o r d i n a t e d i n t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of an u t t e r a n c e may not be j u s t i f i e d . I n s t e a d , S h atz s u g g e s t s t h a t c h i l d r e n i n i t i a l l y employ a g e n e r a l p r a g m a t i c s t r a t e g y , namely an a c t i o n - b a s e d r e s p o n s e , such as "Mommy sa y s , c h i l d does", which i s g r a d u a l l y m o d i f i e d as l i n g u i s t i c awareness i n c r e a s e s . The q u e s t i o n i s t o what e x t e n t t h i s e a r l y s t r a t e g y depends upon l i n g u i s t i c and c o n t e x t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n i n d e t e r m i n i n g i n t e n t i o n . Reeder (1980) i n h i s study of the d e v e l o p m e n t a l onset of the a b i l i t y t o judge from c o n t e x t the d i f f e r e n t i n t e n t i o n s , c o n c l u d e d t h a t h i s s u b j e c t s were a b l e t o use c o n t e x t u a l cues 4 but c a u t i o n e d t h a t t h e i r use of l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n was at t h i s p o i n t open t o q u e s t i o n . F u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i s n e c e s s a r y t o h e l p d etermine t h e k i n d s of p r o c e s s i n g c h i l d r e n use when i n f e r r i n g communicative i n t e n t . Recent r e s e a r c h on l a n g u a g e - d i s o r d e r e d c h i l d r e n suggest t h a t some of the s e c h i l d r e n may have p r a g m a t i c d i f f i c u l t i e s d i s t i n c t from any s t r u c t u r a l language d i s a b i l i t i e s ( B l a n k , Gessner, & E s p o s i t o , 1979; B r i n t o n & F u j i k i , 1982; P r i n z & F e r r i e r , 1983). S t u d i e s comparing normal and l a n g u a g e - d i s o r d e r e d c h i l d r e n ' s comprehension and p r o d u c t i o n of d i r e c t i v e s have i d e n t i f i e d a s i m i l a r p a t t e r n of development between the two groups a l t h o u g h s i g n i f i c a n t l y d e l a y e d i n the l a t t e r group ( B r i n t o n & F u j i k i , 1982; P r i n z & F e r r i e r , 1983; S h a t z , e t a l . 1980). For the l a n g u a g e - d i s o r d e r e d c h i l d , an i n a b i l i t y t o d i s c e r n p o l i t e n e s s s t r a t e g i e s or t o a t t e n d t o p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t was f r e q u e n t l y a p p a r e n t . In an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the a b i l i t y of l a n g u a g e - i m p a i r e d c h i l d r e n t o comprehend, produce, and judge d i r e c t i v e s , P r i n z and F e r r i e r d i s c o v e r e d t h e i r s u b j e c t s had d i f f i c u l t y i n r e c o g n i z i n g the r e l a t i v e p o l i t e n e s s of d i r e c t and i n d i r e c t r e q u e s t s . B r i n t o n and F u j i k i ' s s t u d y , comparing normal and l a n g u a g e - d i s o r d e r e d c h i l d r e n ' s d i s c o u r s e , found t h a t l a n g u a g e - d i s o r d e r e d c h i l d r e n o f t e n responded i n a p p r o p r i a t e l y t o r e q u e s t s . T h e i r r esponses appeared t o be the r e s u l t of a pr a g m a t i c s t r a t e g y which s i g n a l l e d o n l y t h a t a response was r e q u i r e d . T h e i r r e s p o n s e s , however, gave l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n t o the i n f o r m a t i o n 5 r e q u e s t e d , b e i n g e i t h e r c o n t r a r y t o f a c t or e n t i r e l y u n r e l a t e d . S h a t z , et a l . (1980) a l s o found t h a t t h e s e c h i l d r e n had d i f f i c u l t y t a k i n g p r i o r l i n g u i s t i c c o n t e x t i n t o a c c o u n t . The p r e s e n t r e s e a r c h a t t e m p t s t o f u r t h e r our knowledge of the u n d e r l y i n g s o c i a l , l i n g u i s t i c , and c o g n i t i v e p r o c e s s e s i n c h i l d r e n ' s comprehension of speech a c t s . 1.1.2 PRACTICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY I t i s imp o r t a n t t o understand how c h i l d r e n do use language t o o r g a n i z e t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e and t o communicate i n ord e r t o h e l p them d e v e l o p and extend t h e i r communicative competence. T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t f o r those c h i l d r e n , who f o r v a r i o u s r e a s o n s , have d e v e l o p e d communicative a b i l i t i e s d i f f e r e n t from those e x p e c t e d a t s c h o o l . The p r o c e s s e s of becoming educated r e q u i r e t h a t the c h i l d ' s meaning p o t e n t i a l s h o u l d have developed a l o n g c e r t a i n l i n e s i n c e r t a i n t y p e s of c o n t e x t s , e s p e c i a l l y i n r e l a t i o n t o the e x p l o r a t i o n of the environment and of h i s own p a r t i n i t . . . C e r t a i n ways of o r g a n i z i n g e x p e r i e n c e t h r o u g h language and of p a r t i c i p a t i n g and i n t e r a c t i n g w i t h people and t h i n g s a r e ne c e s s a r y f o r suc c e s s i n s c h o o l . The c h i l d who i s not p r e d i s p o s e d t o t h i s type of e x p e r i e n t i a l and i n t e r p e r s o n a l c o n t e x t i s not a t home i n the e d u c a t i o n a l w o r l d . ( H a l l i d a y , 1978, p. 26) They are f a c e d w i t h the d i f f i c u l t t a s k of d e v e l o p i n g an awareness of a set of h i g h l y s p e c i f i c uses of language which a r e o f t e n r e s t r i c t e d t o the s c h o o l s e t t i n g . Reading and w r i t i n g i n p a r t i c u l a r , demand t h a t c h i l d r e n 'disembed' language from i t s immediate 'here and now' c o n t e x t and view 6 language as a s e p a r a t e e n t i t y (Donaldson, 1978). Language i s the p r i m a r y t o o l f o r the t r a n s m i s s i o n of knowledge i n s c h o o l . I f c h i l d r e n are t o be e d u c a t i o n a l l y s u c c e s s f u l , they must l e a r n to make n o r m a l l y ' t r a n s p a r e n t ' language 'opaque' (Cazden, 1974), or t o c o n s c i o u s l y r e f l e c t upon language. Young c h i l d r e n accustomed t o l e a r n i n g language i n e nvironments r i c h w i t h c o n t e x t u a l c l u e s r e l y h e a v i l y upon n o n - l i n g u i s t i c support f o r e x t r a c t i n g meaning. They know what language i s because of what i t does ( H a l l i d a y , 1975). When they come t o s c h o o l , they a r e f a c e d w i t h s i t u a t i o n s t h a t r e q u i r e them t o pay more a t t e n t i o n t o language. There i s d i f f e r e n t c o n t e x t u a l support f o r now 'the meaning i s i n the t e x t ' ( O l s o n , 1977). That i s , they must r e l y more h e a v i l y upon p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t or what was s a i d , r a t h e r than communicative i n t e n t or what was meant i n many s c h o o l t a s k s , p a r t i c u l a r l y those r e l a t e d t o l i t e r a c y . I f c h i l d r e n a r e u n f a m i l i a r w i t h t h i s r a t h e r s p e c i a l i z e d use of l a n g u a g e , they may have d i f f i c u l t y g e n e r a l i z i n g t h e i r a l b e i t w e l l - d e v e l o p e d , but n e v e r t h e l e s s context-embedded communicative competence to the s c h o o l s e t t i n g . By d i s c o v e r i n g the a s p e c t s of communicative i n t e r a c t i o n t o which c h i l d r e n a t t e n d , we can endeavor t o a s s i s t them i n becoming more e f f e c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t s a c r o s s a wide range of c o n t e x t s which w i l l i n c l u d e the w r i t t e n as w e l l as the o r a l mode. T h i s study seeks t o d e t e r m i n e , by means of e m p i r i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n how young c h i l d r e n l e a r n t o c o o r d i n a t e l i n g u i s t i c and c o n t e x t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n i n t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g 7 of r e q u e s t s , o f f e r s , and quest i o n s . 1.2 OVERVIEW Chapter Two d i s c u s s e s the t h e o r e t i c a l background f o r the p r e s e n t study i n c l u d i n g an ov e r v i e w of the t h e o r y of speech a c t s . P ast r e s e a r c h on e m p i r i c a l v e r i f i c a t i o n of the s t a n d a r d t h e o r y of i n d i r e c t speech a c t s i s d i s c u s s e d t o g e t h e r w i t h a review of r e c e n t d e v e l o p m e n t a l work on speech a c t comprehension. M o t i v a t i o n f o r our d e v e l o p m e n t a l hypotheses i s p r o v i d e d i n a s e l e c t i v e r e v iew of the l i t e r a t u r e on l i n g u i s t i c awareness. Chapter Three r e p o r t s on the f i r s t of two f a c t o r i a l e x p e r i m e n t s which c o n t r a s t s p a i r s of p r e d i c t e d speech a c t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . Requests and O f f e r s were p r e s e n t e d under d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of q u a n t i t y of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t u s i n g a d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k p r o c e d u r e . Chapter Four examines the r e s u l t s of the Re q u e s t - Q u e s t i o n c o n t e x t u a l c o n t r a s t s of Experiment I I employing s i m i l a r methods of p r e s e n t a t i o n and the p a r a p h r a s e judgment paradigm p r o c e d u r e . R e s u l t s of the two e x p e r i m e n t s are d i s c u s s e d i n terms of our e x p e r i m e n t a l hypotheses i n Chapter F i v e . F i n a l l y on the b a s i s of our r e s u l t s , some c o n c l u s i o n s r e g a r d i n g a de v e l o p m e n t a l s h i f t i n speech a c t p r o c e s s i n g s t r a t e g i e s a re drawn. I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h and e d u c a t i o n a l a p p l i c a t i o n s a r e c o n s i d e r e d . CHAPTER TWO THEORETICAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL PERSPECTIVES ON SPEECH ACT COMPREHENSION 2.1 SPEECH ACT THEORY A g e n e r a l d i s c u s s i o n of speech a c t s was f i r s t i n t r o d u c e d by A u s t i n (1962) i n which he d e s c r i b e d per format i v e u t t e r a n c e s . He c l a i m e d t h a t each time a p e r f o r m a t i v e u t t e r a n c e i s spoken under a p p r o p r i a t e c i r c u m s t a n c e s , a c t s are performed — (e. g . , p r o m i s e s , a d v i c e , r e q u e s t s , w a r n i n g s ) . C e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s , namely f e l i c i t y c o n d i t i o n s must be s a t i s f i e d i n o r d e r f o r the u t t e r a n c e t o pe r f o r m the a c t s i n q u e s t i o n . He f u r t h e r d i s t i n g u i s h e d between t h r e e c a t e g o r i e s of a c t s performed i n the u t t e r a n c e of a speech a c t : 1. L o c u t i o n a r y — performed i n the u t t e r a n c e of a speech a c t (e . g . , U t t e r i n g the words " S i t down!"). T h i s i n c l u d e s the t r a d i t i o n a l semantic n o t i o n of r e f e r e n c e . 2. I l l o c u t i o n a r y — The i n t e n t i o n of the speaker t h a t the h e a r e r r e c o g n i z e how the u t t e r a n c e i s b e i n g used, i . e . , what c o n v e n t i o n a l a c t s a r e be i n g performed ( e . g . , The he a r e r knows t h a t he has been o r d e r e d t o s i t down.) 3. P e r l o c u t i o n a r y — the e f f e c t of the a c t on the l i s t e n e r ( e . g . , The h e a r e r s i t s down or r e f u s e s t o s i t down). S e a r l e (1969) expanded A u s t i n ' s speech a c t s framework making f u r t h e r d i s t i n c t i o n s between u t t e r a n c e or l o c u t i o n a r y a c t s ( u t t e r i n g w o rds), p r o p o s i t i o n a l a c t s ( r e f e r r i n g and p r e d i c a t i n g ) i l l o c u t i o n a r y a c t s (the i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e or 8 9 i n t e n t i o n ) and p e r l o c u t i o n a r y a c t s ( e f f e c t s on the h e a r e r ' s b e l i e f s and a t t i t u d e s ) . These a r e not m u t u a l l y e x c l u s i v e , but c o n t r i b u t e t o the f u l l d e s c r i p t i o n of what t r a n s p i r e s i n the performance of a speech a c t . The f i r s t t h r e e are n e c e s s a r i l y i n c l u d e d i n any s u c c e s s f u l speech a c t . The i n t e n d e d p e r l o c u t i o n a r y e f f e c t , however, need not n e c e s s a r i l y take p l a c e . Take, f o r example, the r e c a l c i t r a n t c h i l d who solemnly promises s a y i n g the words ( u t t e r a n c e a c t ) , " I ' l l never do i t a g a i n , mommy" a f t e r b e i n g caught i n the a c t of some m i s d o i n g . A l t h o u g h h i s promise ( i l l o c u t i o n a r y a c t ) by means of p r e d i c a t i n g t h a t h e ' l l never do i t a g a i n ( p r o p o s i t i o n a l a c t ) may be s i n c e r e , the e f f e c t of c o n v i n c i n g h i s mother ( p e r l o c u t i o n a r y a c t ) i s u n l i k e l y , g i v e n h i s pa s t b e h a v i o u r . F u r t h e r t o h i s a n a l y s i s of the k i n d s of speech a c t s , S e a r l e d e v e l o p e d a taxonomy of i l l o c u t i o n a r y a c t t y p e s . He c l a i m e d t h a t any a n a l y s i s of i l l o c u t i o n a r y a c t s needs to encompass both the i n t e n t i o n t o a c t and the knowledge of c o n v e n t i o n and the r e l a t i o n between them. To t h i s end, he det e r m i n e d f o u r types of c o n d i t i o n s n e c e s s a r y and s u f f i c i e n t f o r the s u c c e s s f u l performance of an i l l o c u t i o n a r y a c t : p r o p o s i t i o n a l , p r e p a r a t o r y , s i n c e r i t y , and e s s e n t i a l . Each i l l o c u t i o n a r y a c t type w i l l d i f f e r from another i n terms of one or-more of these c o n d i t i o n s . For the performance of a f e l i c i t i o u s r e q u e s t t o take p l a c e , f o r example, the f o l l o w i n g f e l i c i t y c o n d i t i o n s must be f u l f i l l e d : P r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t r u l e : 10 F u t u r e . a c t ( A ) of h e a r e r ( H ) . P r e p a r a t o r y r u l e : H can do A. S b e l i e v e s H. can do A. I t i s not o b v i o u s t o both S and H t h a t H w i l l do A i n the normal c o u r s e of ev e n t s of h i s own a c c o r d . S i n c e r i t y r u l e : S wants H t o do A. E s s e n t i a l r u l e : Counts as an attempt t o get H t o do A. For an o f f e r , t h e s e f e l i c i t y c o n d i t i o n s a r e r e q u i r e d : P r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t r u l e : F u t u r e a c t ( A ) of h e a r e r ( H ) . P r e p a r a t o r y r u l e : H wants t o do A. S i s w i l l i n g f o r H t o do A. S i n c e r i t y r u l e : S can p e r m i t H t o do A. E s s e n t i a l r u l e : Counts as an u n d e r t a k i n g by S f o r A t o o c c u r . A q u e s t i o n r e q u i r e s t h e s e r u l e s : P r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t r u l e : Any p r o p o s i t i o n p. P r e p a r a t o r y r u l e : S does not know p (the answe r ) . S i n c e r i t y r u l e : S wants t o know p. E s s e n t i a l r u l e : Counts as an attempt t o e l i c i t t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n 11 from H. To what e x t e n t i s the h e a r e r ' s a p p r e h e n s i o n of t h e s e f o r m a l c o n d i t i o n s p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y f u n c t i o n a l i n the comprehension of speech a c t s ? P r e v i o u s s t u d i e s (Garvey, 1975; Leonard & R e i d , 1979; S h a t z , 1978; Reeder, 1980, 1981) have shown the s i g n i f i c a n c e of n o n - l i n g u i s t i c f e l i c i t y c o n d i t i o n s i n the u n d e r s t a n d i n g of such speech a c t s as r e q u e s t s , q u e s t i o n s , o f f e r s , a s s e r t i o n s , arguments, c o n g r a t u l a t i o n s , warnings, and t h a n k s . The e x t e n t t o which p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t i s used and how much i s needed, however, has not been i n v e s t i g a t e d . By s y s t e m a t i c a l l y v a r y i n g c e r t a i n a s p e c t s of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t , i t s h o u l d be p o s s i b l e t o e m p i r i c a l l y determine the v a l i d i t y of S e a r l e ' s c l a i m t h a t p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t i s a n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n f o r speech a c t comprehension. T h i s study w i l l examine the r e l e v a n c e of the v a r i a b l e q u a n t i t y of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t to u n d e r s t a n d i n g r e q u e s t s , quest i o n s , and o f f e r s . 2.2 THE COMPREHENSION OF INDIRECT SPEECH ACTS An i s s u e i n the study of p r a g m a t i c s which has r e c e i v e d much a t t e n t i o n i s the comprehension of i n d i r e c t speech a c t s . D i r e c t i v e s , i n p a r t i c u l a r , have a f f o r d e d c o n s i d e r a b l e i n s i g h t i n t o the phenomenon of u n d e r s t a n d i n g what i s meant when the p r a g m a t i c i n t e n t i s not a d i r e c t match t o what i s a c t u a l l y s a i d . That i s , the i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e i s not e x p l i c i t l y d i s p l a y e d i n the form of the u t t e r a n c e . Employed 12 p r e d o m i n a n t l y by a d u l t s and e v e n t u a l l y by c h i l d r e n , the use of i n d i r e c t f o r c e i s p r i m a r i l y m o t i v a t e d by reasons of p o l i t e n e s s (Brown & L e v i n s o n , 1978; C l a r k & Schunk, 1980; E r v i n - T r i p p , 1976, 1977; S e a r l e , 1975). In u s i n g a d i r e c t r e quest such as " S i t down" the speaker presumes a c e r t a i n s t a t u s over the he a r e r whereas an i n d i r e c t r e q u e s t such as "Would you l i k e t o s i t down?" does not presume, and t h e r e f o r e a l l o w s or a t l e a s t appears t o a l l o w o p t i o n s i n i n f e r r i n g i n t e n t . An i m p o r t a n t source of i n f o r m a t i o n a v a i l a b l e t o the he a r e r i s the c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y of the u t t e r a n c e . C l a r k (1979) c o n s i d e r s two ty p e s of c o n v e n t i o n . The f i r s t t y p e , c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y of means s p e c i f i e s a semantic d e v i c e by which an i n d i r e c t speech a c t can be performed. For example, a speaker can i n d i r e c t l y r e q u e s t a h e a r e r t o do some a c t by q u e s t i o n i n g the h e a r e r ' s a b i l i t y t o p e r f o r m the a c t . T h i s would i n c l u d e u t t e r a n c e s l i k e "Can you s i t down?" and "Are you a b l e t o s i t down?". The second t y p e , c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y of form a r e c o n s i d e r e d c o n v e n t i o n a l or i d i o m a t i c i n the sense t h a t c e r t a i n forms i n t h e i r usage as i n d i r e c t r e q u e s t s have become s t a n d a r d i z e d whereas o t h e r forms have not ( S e a r l e , 1979; C l a r k , 1979). The u t t e r a n c e "Can you s i t down?" would be c o n s i d e r e d h i g h l y c o n v e n t i o n a l , w h i l e i t i s p o s s i b l e "Are you a b l e t o s i t down?" would n o t . C o n v e n t i o n a l i t y , however, i s not c o n s t a n t a c r o s s c o n t e x t s ( C l a r k & Schunk, 1980; G i b b s , 1981). An u t t e r a n c e such as "Can you s i t down?" may t y p i c a l l y be heard as a r e q u e s t , but a l i t e r a l q u e s t i o n 13 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s e q u a l l y p l a u s i b l e depending on the c o n t e x t i n which i t i s u t t e r e d . The e x t e n t t o which t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n between c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y and n o n - c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y e x i s t s i n a c t u a l performance> as w e l l as the u n d e r l y i n g p r o c e s s e s i n v o l v e d i n i n f e r r i n g i s c u r r e n t l y debated i n the l i t e r a t u r e (Bach & H a r n i s h , 1979; C l a r k , 1979; G i b b s , 1979, 1983; S e a r l e , 1979). Given t h a t c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y i s c o n s t r a i n e d by c o n t e x t , i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t the conveyed meaning of the u t t e r a n c e i s d etermined by i t s c o n t e x t r a t h e r than by the c o n v e n t i o n a l form of the u t t e r a n c e . A l t h o u g h r e c e n t s t u d i e s have shown t h a t c h i l d r e n as w e l l as a d u l t s can make c o n t e x t u a l l y s e n s i t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of b oth c o n v e n t i o n a l and n o n - c o n v e n t i o n a l i n d i r e c t speech a c t s (Ackerman, 1978; E r v i n - T r i p p 1976), the q u e s t i o n remains whether d e t a i l e d a t t e n t i o n t o the l i n g u i s t i c component of the u t t e r a n c e i s p a i d at the o u t s e t of t h i s a b i l i t y . S e a r l e c l a i m s t h a t any e x p l a n a t i o n of i n d i r e c t speech a c t comprehension must i n c l u d e not o n l y a t h e o r y of speech a c t s , but m u t u a l l y shared background i n f o r m a t i o n of p a r t i c i p a n t s ( C l a r k and C a r l s o n ' s [1981] ' i n t r i n s i c c o n t e x t ' ) t o g e t h e r w i t h the h e a r e r ' s i n f e r e n t i a l a b i l i t y and G r i c e ' s (1975) g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e s of c o n v e r s a t i o n . The model suggested by t h i s v i e w , the s e r i a l or 1 i n e a r p r o c e s s i n g model, i s composed of a f o u r - s t a g e p r o c e s s as c o n c e p t u a l i z e d i n F i g u r e 1. F i r s t , the l i t e r a l f o r c e of an u t t e r a n c e i s computed ( d e t e r m i n e d t h rough i t s l o c u t i o n a r y Figure 1. Linear Processing of Illocutionary Force Scan propositional content, assign literal illoculiotiary force. Scan context: Are non-propositional felicity conditions of candidate force satisfied? Is Cooperative Principle satisfied? r - YES NO Validate the candidate force, assign it. Search for and assign an alternative illocutionary force most likely to satisfy the Cooperative Principle. Figure 1. Direct Processing of Illocutionary Force Scan propositional content, narrow candidate forces to those propositionally admissable, choose one. Scan context: Are non-propositional felicity conditions of candidate force satisfied? i— YES L NO Validate the candidate force, assign it. Select another candidate force from the array. !5 meaning). S e c o n d l y , a t e s t i s made t o d e t e r m i n e whether l i t e r a l meaning i s c o m p a t i b l e w i t h v a r i o u s c o n t e x t u a l ( f e l i c i t y ) c o n d i t i o n s and c o n v e r s a t i o n a l r u l e s ( G r i c e ' s C o n v e r s a t i o n a l P r i n c i p l e s ) . The Maxim of R e l a t i o n , i n c o r p o r a t e d w i t h i n one such p r i n c i p l e , the C o o p e r a t i v e P r i n c i p l e , r e q u i r e s t h a t a p a r t i c i p a n t ' s c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the c o n v e r s a t i o n w i l l be r e l e v a n t . T h i r d , i f a l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n v i o l a t e s t h i s maxim, then i t i s r e j e c t e d and the i n d i r e c t or conveyed meaning i s c a l c u l a t e d a c c o r d i n g t o G r i c e a n c o n v e n t i o n s . F i n a l l y , the u t t e r a n c e i s i n t e r p r e t e d on the b a s i s of i t s i n f e r r e d meaning. I n h e r e n t i n t h i s model i s the assumption t h a t c o m p u t a t i o n of l i t e r a l i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e i s an e s s e n t i a l s t e p i n d e t e r m i n i n g the conveyed f o r c e and t h a t t h e r e i s a d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p between the form and f u n c t i o n ( i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e ) of the u t t e r a n c e . In an attempt t o t e s t t h i s model, C l a r k and Lucy (1975) measured a d u l t comprehension of i n d i r e c t r e q u e s t s i n a sentence v e r i f i c a t i o n t a s k . They found e v i d e n c e t h a t t h e i r s u b j e c t s d i d compute the l i t e r a l f o r c e of the r e q u e s t s b e f o r e the conveyed f o r c e . However, as Gibbs (1979) p o i n t s o u t , the experiment was c o n ducted i n d e c o n t e x t u a l i z e d s e t t i n g s where o n l y l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n was c o n t r o l l e d . In a l a t e r s tudy C l a r k (1979) observed the comprehension of o r d i n a r y or c o n v e n t i o n a l r e q u e s t s f o r i n f o r m a t i o n such as "Do you know the t i m e ? " . He c o n c l u d e d t h a t c o m p u t a t i o n of m u l t i p l e i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e o c c u r r e d 16 f o r both c o n v e n t i o n a l and n o n - c o n v e n t i o n a l r e q u e s t s . However, he m o d i f i e d the p r e v i o u s model by p r o p o s i n g t h a t a l t h o u g h the l i t e r a l f o r c e must be computed, t h e r e was no e v i d e n c e t h a t one o c c u r r e d b e f o r e the o t h e r , but r a t h e r they a r e computed s i m u l t a n e o u s l y . F o l l o w i n g a c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of speech a c t s s i m i l a r t o S e a r l e ' s , u s i n g C o n v e r s a t i o n a l Presumptions ( S e a r l e ' s 'mutual c o n t e x t u a l b e l i e f s ' ) , Bach and H a r n i s h extended t h e i r a n a l y s i s of speech a c t s t o i n c l u d e n o n - l i t e r a l i n d i r e c t a c t s such as sarcasm, as w e l l . They d i f f e r from S e a r l e , however, i n t h e i r t r e a t m e n t of c o n v e n t i o n a l i n d i r e c t r e q u e s t s . S e a r l e s t a t e s t h a t a l l i n d i r e c t speech a c t s a r e i d i o m a t i c (1975, p. 77). For those forms which have become c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d , l i t e r a l f o r c e i s s t i l l r e t a i n e d . Bach and H a r n i s h propose t h a t , f o r t h e s e c a s e s , the p r o c e s s of i n f e r r i n g i n d i r e c t i n t e n t by means of r e j e c t i n g the l i t e r a l i n t e n t i s s h o r t c i r c u i t e d and the i n d i r e c t f o r c e i s d i r e c t l y i n f e r r e d . T h i s would appear t o c o n t r a d i c t the c l a i m of the l i n e a r or the m u l t i p l e meaning model t h a t i t i s always n e c e s s a r y t o compute the l i t e r a l meaning i n d e t e r m i n i n g i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e . An a l t e r n a t i v e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the comprehension of speech a c t s , the d i r e c t p r o c e s s i n g model (see F i g u r e 2 ) , s u g g e s t s t h a t c o n s i d e r a t i o n of l i t e r a l i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e i s u n n ecessary a l t h o u g h p o s s i b l e i n the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of an i n d i r e c t speech a c t (Gazdar 1981). Reeder (1975) suggested a p r o c e s s whereby an i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e which i s c o m p a t i b l e 17 w i t h the a p p r o p r i a t e p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t i s examined f o r s a t i s f a c t i o n of i t s n o n - p r o p o s i t i o n a l f e l i c i t y c o n d i t i o n s i n c o n t e x t . I f these c o n d i t i o n s f o r a c a n d i d a t e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n are not s a t i s f i e d , an a l t e r n a t i v e f o r c e i s c o n s i d e r e d . E x p e r i m e n t a l work which s u p p o r t s the d i r e c t p r o c e s s i n g model was conducted by Gibbs (1979) where, by means of a paraphrase judgment task he t e s t e d u n d e r s t a n d i n g of i n d i r e c t r e q u e s t s both i n and out of c o n t e x t . T a r g e t s e n t e n c e s such as "Must you open the window" which can f u n c t i o n l i t e r a l l y as a q u e s t i o n "Need you open the window?" or i n d i r e c t l y as a re q u e s t "Don't open the window" were p r e s e n t e d t o s u b j e c t s e i t h e r w i t h i n a s t o r y c o n t e x t or i n i s o l a t i o n . P a r a p h r a s e s c o n s i s t e d of e i t h e r the l i t e r a l or conveyed i n t e r p r e t a t i o n which were judged c o r r e c t i n each s i t u a t i o n . The r e s u l t s c o n f i r m e d t h a t l i n e a r s t r a t e g i e s were employed f o r p r o c e s s i n g i n d i r e c t f o r c e w i t h o u t c o n t e x t . However, when the s e n t e n ces o c c u r r e d w i t h i n c o n t e x t both t h e i n d i r e c t and the l i t e r a l meaning were u n d e r s t o o d e q u a l l y as q u i c k l y . G ibbs s u g g e s t s t h a t an a d d i t i o n a l s t e p of p r o c e s s i n g l i t e r a l meaning i s unnecessary i n a model of speech a c t comprehension, l e n d i n g c r e d e n c e t o the d i r e c t p r o c e s s i n g p r o p o s a l . In a s i m i l a r experiment i n v e s t i g a t i n g t h e e f f e c t of c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y and c o n t e x t on comprehension of i n d i r e c t r e q u e s t s , Gibbs (1981) found e v i d e n c e t h a t c o n v e n t i o n a l i n d i r e c t r e q u e s t s l i k e "Can you pass the s a l t ? " took l e s s time t o comprehend than such n o n - c o n v e n t i o n a l r e q u e s t s as 18 " I s i t p o s s i b l e f o r you t o pass the s a l t ? " as d i d C l a r k (1979) and C l a r k and Schunk (1980). He s u g g e s t s r a t h e r than c o n s i d e r i n g these as s e p a r a t e c a t e g o r i e s , the d i f f e r e n c e s between c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y and n o n - c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y i s a m atter of degree d e t e r m i n e d by c o n t e x t and r e l a t i o n s h i p s between p a r t i c i p a n t s . I n d i r e c t speech a c t s and the degree of c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y are p r i m a r i l y m o t i v a t e d by p r a c t i c a l r e a s o n i n g p r e m i s e s , the most i m p o r t a n t of which i s p r e s e r v a t i o n of f a c e by means of p o l i t e n e s s (Brown & L e v i n s o n , 1978). Brown and L e v i n s o n i n t h e i r t h e o r y of p o l i t e n e s s propose t h a t t h i s d e s i r e t o g i v e a t t e n t i o n t o f a c e causes a speaker t o d e v i a t e from the normal e f f i c i e n c y of c o o p e r a t i v e p r i n c i p l e s and i n v i t e s the h e a r e r t o assume c o n v e r s a t i o n a l i m p l i c a t u r e . In o r d e r t o reduce the r i s k of a f a c e - t h r e a t e n i n g a c t , a speaker employs v a r i o u s f a c e - s a v i n g s t r a t e g i e s of p o l i t e n e s s , f o r m a l i t y , and i n d i r e c t n e s s . These h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r a t e g i e s a r e d e t e r m i n e d by the m u t u a l l y assumed s o c i a l v a r i a b l e s of d i s t a n c e and power between the speaker and the h e a r e r and the r e l a t i v e rank of the i m p o s i t i o n of the f a c e - t h r e a t e n i n g a c t s e l e c t e d i n the c o n t e x t . The more r i s k i n v o l v e d i n a f a c e - t h r e a t e n i n g a c t or the h i g h e r the ' c o s t ' f a c t o r , the more l i k e l y a h i g h e r o r d e r s t r a t e g y w i l l be employed. I t i s e v i d e n t t h a t s e v e r a l i s s u e s need t o be r e s o l v e d i n both r e f i n i n g t h e o r e t i c a l c l a i m s as w e l l as t e s t i n g t h e i r v a l i d i t y i n e m p i r i c a l s t u d i e s . F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e r e i s a need t o study the k i n d s of d e v e l o p m e n t a l p r o c e s s e s which young 19 c h i l d r e n employ i n t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of i n d i r e c t spe.ech a c t s . 2.3 DEVELOPMENTAL STUDIES OF SPEECH ACTS Much of the r e c e n t l i t e r a t u r e which has a t t e n d e d t o c h i l d language i n terms of speech a c t a n a l y s i s has f o c u s s e d on p r o d u c t i v e competence i n n a t u r a l i s t i c s e t t i n g s (Dore, 1977; E r v i n - T r i p p , 1977; Garvey, 1975; H a l l i d a y , 1975; S h a t z , 1978a; W e l l s , 1981). In her a n a l y s i s of p r e s c h o o l c h i l d r e n ' s a b i l i t y t o use r e q u e s t s i n spontaneous speech, Garvey (1975) found e v i d e n c e t h a t c h i l d r e n d i d pay a t t e n t i o n to the f e l i c i t y c o n d i t i o n s p e r t a i n i n g t o r e q u e s t s . Dore (1979), based on h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s of c h i l d r e n ' s responses t o q u e s t i o n s , s p e c i f i e d as a n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n the presence of complete and a c c u r a t e p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t . C h i l d r e n ' s spontaneous r e s p o n s e s , however, do not c o n s t i t u t e s u f f i c i e n t e v i d e n c e t o determine the e x t e n t t o which p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t i s c o n s i d e r e d i n t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e . I t may w e l l be t h a t o t h e r n o n - 1 i n g u i s i t i c i n f o r m a t i o n i s s e r v i n g as a cue f o r them t o respond a p p r o p r i a t e l y . In o r d e r t o c o n t r o l f o r the s e e x t r a n e o u s v a r i a b l e s , s e v e r a l r e s e a r c h e r s have a t t e m p t e d t o study speech a c t comprehension under c o n t r o l l e d e x p e r i m e n t a l c o n d i t i o n s (Ackerman, 1978; E r v i n - T r i p p & Gordon ( i n p r e s s ) ; S h a t z , 1978b; Reeder 1980, 1981). Judgments of u t t e r a n c e a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s as d e f i n e d by r e l e v a n c e t o c o n t e x t f o r seven 20 d i f f e r e n t speech a c t s were examined i n t h r e e t o s i x y e a r - o l d s by Leonard and R e i d (1979). The younger c h i l d r e n r e l i e d h e a v i l y on n o n - l i n g u i s t i c c o n t e x t u a l e v i d e n c e wich s u p p o r t e d t h e i r n o t i o n s of r e l e v a n c e and p o l i t e n e s s as a b a s i s f o r j u d g i n g a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s . By age s i x , however, c h i l d r e n ' s judgments appr o x i m a t e d t h a t of a d u l t s . Shatz (1978b) i n an e x p e r i m e n t a l study of even younger s u b j e c t s , found e v i d e n c e of two year o l d s ' a b i l i t y t o ta k e l i n g u i s t i c c o n t e x t i n t o a c c o u n t . Her s u b j e c t s were p r e s e n t e d w i t h a s e t of t e s t s e n t e nces i n t h r e e s i t u a t i o n s , a n e u t r a l , d i r e c t i v e , and i n f o r m a t i o n a l c o n t e x t . A l t h o u g h a c t i o n responses predominated i n both the d i r e c t i v e and the more ambiguous n e u t r a l c o n t e x t s , the c h i l d r e n produced more i n f o r m i n g responses i n the i n f o r m a t i o n a l c o n t e x t . Based on t h i s study and e a r l i e r o b s e r v a t i o n a l data of t w o - y e a r - o l d s ' comprehension of t h e i r mothers' r e q u e s t s (1978a) Shatz p o s t u l a t e d t h a t the c h i l d r e n were o p e r a t i n g on the b a s i s of some s i m p l e d i s c o u r s e r u l e where they responded w i t h a c t i o n t o some s a l i e n t a s p e c t of the speech a d d r e s s e d t o them u n l e s s t h e r e was some k i n d of s t o p - a c t i o n marker ( l i n g u i s t i c or c o n t e x t u a l ) t h a t s i g n a l l e d d o i n g o t h e r w i s e . There appeared t o be a b i a s , however, towards an a c t i o n response r e g a r d l e s s of p r o p o s i t i o n a l and c o n t e x t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n . She suggested f u r t h e r t h a t a c q u i s i t i o n of these markers i s f a c i l i t a t e d by the c h i l d ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n language l e a r n i n g r o u t i n e s such as 'peekaboo' and st o r y b o o k r e a d i n g ( c f . B r u n e r , 1983; Snow, 1983). 21 Reeder (1980, 1981) found t h a t c h i l d r e n as young as two and o n e - h a l f y e a r s were a b l e t o d i s c r i m i n a t e amongst r e q u e s t s , q u e s t i o n s and o f f e r s . U s i n g a p a r a p h r a s e judgment t a s k paradigm, he asked h i s s u b j e c t s t o choose the response which most c l o s e l y matched a s t i m u l u s u t t e r a n c e of the form "Would you l i k e to do A?" p r e s e n t e d i n each of the t h r e e c o n t e x t s . V e r i f i c a t i o n of a p r e d i c t e d speech a c t was d e t e r m i n e d by f a l s i f y i n g a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s on the b a s i s of c o n t e x t . The p r e d i c t e d p a r a p h r a s e f o r the r e q u e s t s was "I want you t o do A", f o r the o f f e r s " I ' l l l e t you do A" and f o r the q u e s t i o n s "Do you want t o do A?". Reeder (1980) proposed t h a t t h r e e components may have c o n t r i b u t e d t o i l l o c u t i o n a r y competence: 1. knowledge of p r o p o s i t i o n a l f e l i c i t y c o n d i t i o n s upon i l l o c u t i o n a r y a c t s : what can be s a i d i n o r d e r t o p e r f o r m a r e q u e s t or an o f f e r ; 2. knowledge of p r a g m a t i c f e l i c i t y c o n d i t i o n s upon i l l o c u t i o n a r y a c t s : i n what c i r c u m s t a n c e s i t can be s a i d a p p r o p r i a t e l y ; 3. g e n e r a l i n f e r e n t i a l s k i l l s which can a c t upon i n f o r m a t i o n about c o n t e x t s and a s sumptions about c o n v e r s a t i o n a l p a r t i c i p a n t s (p. 2 4 ) . He c o n c l u d e d t h a t h i s s u b j e c t s were a b l e t o i n f e r the a p p r o p r i a t e i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e u s i n g both c o n t e x t u a l and p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t i n f o r m a t i o n . N e v e r t h e l e s s , he noted t h a t i t was p o s s i b l e t h a t h i s s u b j e c t s were r e s p o n d i n g s o l e l y t o n o n - l i n g u i s t i c c o n t e x t u a l cues perhaps w i t h o u t 22 even c o n s i d e r i n g p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t ( c f . Shatz 1983). Most of the s t u d i e s of c h i l d r e n ' s u n d e r s t a n d i n g s of d i r e c t i v e s have f o c u s s e d on c o n v e n t i o n a l r e q u e s t s . Ackerman (1978) i n a study of o l d e r c h i l d r e n ' s judgments of the a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s of u n c o n v e n t i o n a l forms d i s c o v e r e d t h a t a l t h o u g h h i s s u b j e c t s showed some s e n s i t i v i t y t o c o n t e x t , an a c t i o n response b i a s was s t i l l e v i d e n t at the t h i r d grade. F u r t h e r m o r e , c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y d i d not appear t o f a c i l i t a t e u n d e r s t a n d i n g of i n d i r e c t i n t e n t ( c f . G i b b s ' [1981] r e s u l t s w i t h a d u l t s ) . An i n v e s t i g a t i o n by H i l d y a r d (1979, u n p u b l i s h e d ) found t h a t o l d e r c h i l d r e n ' s r e c a l l of r e q u e s t s was a f f e c t e d more by the s t a t u s of the speaker and the s o c i a l c o n t e x t ( i . e . , r i g h t or f a v o u r ) than the form of the u t t e r a n c e . A l t h o u g h v e r b a t i m r e c a l l of c o n v e n t i o n a l r e q u e s t s was the l e a s t a c c u r a t e , they tended t o be r e c a l l e d i n a r e l a t e d c o n v e n t i o n a l form. Other r e s e a r c h e r s have demonstrated t h a t young c h i l d r e n a r e a b l e t o take i n t o acount some a s p e c t s of the s o c i a l v a r i a b l e s of power, d i s t a n c e , and rank ( B a t e s , 1976; E r v i n - T r i p p , 1977; E r v i n - T r i p p & Gordon, [ i n p r e s s ] ; S. James, 1978). James (1978) i n a study of p o l i t e n e s s of c h i l d r e n ' s d i r e c t i v e s as a f u n c t i o n of l i s t e n e r age, found t h a t the most p o l i t e d i r e c t i v e s were a d d r e s s e d t o the a d u l t l i s t e n e r , f o l l o w e d by the peer and younger c h i l d . B a t es (1976) c l a i m s t h a t by age t h r e e , a g e n e r a l concept of p o l i t e n e s s i s a c q u i r e d i n terms of age of addressee but t h a t 23 d i f f e r e n t p o l i t e forms a r e s u c c e s s f u l l y d i s c r i m i n a t e d at d i f f e r e n t ages. The s t u d i e s c i t e d above i n d i c a t e t h a t young c h i l d r e n are c a p a b l e of a d j u s t i n g t h e i r r e sponses a p p r o p r i a t e l y t o the u n d e r l y i n g i n t e n t i o n s of an u t t e r a n c e u s i n g n o n - l i n g u i s t i c f e l i c i t y c o n d i t i o n s , but t h e r e i s i n c o n c l u s i v e e v i d e n c e t h a t t h e i r e a r l y response s t r a t e g i e s are based on an a n a l y s i s of of l i n g u i s t i c form and p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t . I t appe a r s , then t h a t p r a g m a t i c competence d e v e l o p s r e l a t i v e l y e a r l y i n young c h i l d r e n . T h i s i s not s u r p r i s i n g i n l i g h t of the f a c t t h a t c h i l d r e n l e a r n t o communicate i n environments r i c h w i t h c o n t e x t u a l c ues, g e n e r a l l y making redundant a d d i t i o n a l l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n . I t does not f o l l o w n e c e s s a r i l y t h a t c h i l d r e n a c q u i r e l i n g u i s t i c s t r u c t u r e s as a consequence of t h e i r a b i l i t y t o i n f e r p r a g m a t i c i n t e n t . R a t h e r , t h e r e seems t o be a c o n f l a t i o n of knowledge of form and f u n c t i o n ( H a l l i d a y , 1975) which g r a d u a l l y becomes d i f f e r e n t i a t e d w i t h c h i l d r e n ' s growing awareness t h a t language can be c o n s i d e r e d o u t s i d e i t s communicative c o n t e x t . 2.4 THE DEVELOPMENT OF LINGUISTIC AWARENESS A l t h o u g h c o n s i d e r a b l e v a r i a t i o n o c c u r s i n the emergence and degree of l i n g u i s t i c awareness, t h e r e i s evidence of a de v e l o p m e n t a l p r o g r e s s i o n w i t h the e a r l i e s t s i g n s a p p e a r i n g around age two, c o n t i n u i n g w e l l i n t o the s c h o o l y e a r s ( C l a r k , 1978). In s t u d i e s of l i n g u i s t i c awareness i n 24 c h i l d r e n aged f o u r and above, r e s e a r c h e r s have found t h a t l i n g u i s t i c awareness i n c r e a s e s w i t h age and l i n g u i s t i c e x p e r i e n c e ( G l e i t m a n et a l . , 1972; Hakes, 1980). There i s some s u g g e s t i o n t h a t younger c h i l d r e n are u s i n g t h e i r 'knowledge of the w o r l d ' r a t h e r than 'knowledge of language' as the b a s i s of t h e i r judgments of a c c e p t a b i l i t y ( C a r r , 1979; H i l d y a r d & O l s o n , 1982). H i l d y a r d and Olson (1982) i n t e r p r e t e d t h e i r f i n d i n g s as ev i d e n c e t h a t a t the e a r l i e s t s t a g e , c h i l d r e n p r o c e s s l i n g u i s t i c meaning i n terms of t h e i r c o n t e x t u a l and i l l o c u t i o n a r y knowledge ( i . e . , c a s u a l or context-embedded meaning). L a t e r the c h i l d l e a r n s t o a t t e n d t o p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t as a means of mapping c o n t e x t s i n t o p a r t i c u l a r meanings. F i n a l l y , the c h i l d i s a b l e t o c r e a t e c o n t e x t (or ' s t i p u l a t e p o s s i b l e w o r l d s ' ) on the b a s i s of the p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t of an u t t e r a n c e ( i t s l i t e r a l meaning). They argue f u r t h e r t h a t t h i s a b i l i t y d e v e l o p s c o n c u r r e n t l y w i t h and i s f o s t e r e d by the a c q u i s i t i o n of l i t e r a c y . In the form of w r i t t e n t e x t s , language assumes a d i f f e r e n t k i n d of importance from i t s use i n normal d i s c o u r s e . Language can be used as a t o o l t o r e p r e s e n t p o s s i b l e or even h y p o t h e t i c a l w o r l d s . F a m i l i a r i t y w i t h t h i s s p e c i a l i z e d use of language appears t o be h i g h l y c o r r e l a t e d t o su c c e s s i n s c h o o l ( W e l l s , 1981). Many s c h o o l - r e l a t e d t a s k s , such as mathematics and s c i e n c e , which employ a b s t r a c t f o r m a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of r u l e s r e q u i r e the a b i l i t y t o disembed language from c o n v e r s a t i o n a l c o n t e x t s (Donaldson, 1978). 25 2.5 RATIONALE OF THE STUDY P r e v i o u s s t u d i e s of speech a c t comprehension have shown t h a t young c h i l d r e n a r e c a p a b l e of t a k i n g p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t i n t o account when d e t e r m i n i n g the p r a g m a t i c i n t e n t of an u t t e r a n c e . The e x t e n t t o which i t i s n e c e s s a r y , however, has not been i n v e s t i g a t e d . T h i s study a d d r e s s e s the q u e s t i o n of the amount or the q u a n t i t y of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t r e q u i r e d f o r d i s c r i m i n a t i o n between Requests and O f f e r s and Requests and Q u e s t i o n s . There i s some e v i d e n c e c i t e d above t h a t c h i l d r e n ' s e a r l y s e n s i t i v i t y t o c o n t e x t i s somewhat independent of t h e i r a b i l i t y t o t a k e i n t o account l i n g u i s t i c form and p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t . A l s o of i n t e r e s t i s the q u e s t i o n of the degree t o which these c h i l d r e n t a k e i n t o account a l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of a speech a c t i n o r d e r t o i n f e r i t s i n d i r e c t meaning. A c c o r d i n g to some speech a c t t h e o r i s t s , the p r o c e s s i n g of l i t e r a l meaning i s n e c e s s a r y i n i n f e r r i n g i n d i r e c t i n t e n t (as d i s c u s s e d i n d e t a i l above, sec 2.2). However, G i b b s ' e x p e r i m e n t a l r e s e a r c h w i t h a d u l t s i n d i c a t e s t h a t the i n d i r e c t meaning may be i n f e r r e d w i t h o u t p r o c e s s i n g the l i t e r a l meaning g i v e n adequate c o n t e x t . To what e x t e n t do young c h i l d r e n take i n t o account a " l i t e r a l " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of a speech a c t i n o r d e r t o i n f e r i t s i n d i r e c t meaning? As c h i l d r e n a c q u i r e the c o n v e n t i o n s of l i t e r a c y and o t h e r a b s t r a c t s c h o o l - l e a r n i n g t a s k s , they must l e a r n t o s u p p r e s s t h e i r e a r l y a b i l i t y t o d e r i v e meaning from n o n - l i n g u i s t i c c o n t e x t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n and i n c r e a s i n g l y r e l y 26 on language-based s t r a t e g i e s t o e x t r a c t meaning. I t was h y p o t h e s i z e d t h a t younger c h i l d r e n would i n i t i a l l y employ d i r e c t p r o c e s s i n g s t r a t e g i e s i n d e t e r m i n i n g i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e u s i n g n o n - p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e x t u a l c ues. O l d e r c h i l d r e n , however, would be more l i n e a r i n t h e i r approach, r e l y i n g more h e a v i l y upon p r o p o s i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n . C h a p t e r s Three and Four d e s c r i b e two f a c t o r i a l e x p e r i m e n t s which examined the e f f e c t s of age and q u a n t i t y of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t on young c h i l d r e n ' s d i s c r i m i n a t i o n amongst r e q u e s t s , o f f e r s , and quest i ons. CHAPTER THREE EXPERIMENT I - REQUESTS AND OFFERS In Experiment I , s u b j e c t s were a d m i n i s t e r e d a d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k where c o n s t r u c t e d c o n t e x t s f o r s t i m u l u s u t t e r a n c e s were p r e s e n t e d u s i n g a procedure s i m i l a r t o the one employed by Reeder (1981). To address the q u e s t i o n of the e x t e n t t o which young c h i l d r e n a re dependent upon l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n i n d e t e r m i n i n g i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e i t was d e c i d e d t o v a r y s y s t e m a t i c a l l y the amount of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t a v a i l a b l e i n the s t i m u l u s u t t e r a n c e Would you l i k e t o do A? A p a i r of p h y s i c a l c o n t r a s t s was c o n s t r u c t e d , one of which s u p p o r t e d a req u e s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the s t i m u l u s u t t e r a n c e p a r a p h r a s e d by I want you t o do A and the o t h e r a p u t a t i v e o f f e r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of I'11 l e t you do A where A r e f e r s t o some a c t . 3.1 EXPERIMENTAL HYPOTHESES The f o l l o w i n g e x p e r i m e n t a l hypotheses were proposed: H, A s i g n i f i c a n t p r e d i c t e d response e f f e c t w i l l be demonstrated when comparing p r e d i c t e d v s . n o n - p r e d i c t e d r e s p o n s e s . S u b j e c t s w i l l be a b l e t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e r e l i a b l y between the two c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n s and w i l l s e l e c t the p r e d i c t e d p a r a p h r a s e s I want you t o do A i n the Request c o n d i t i o n and I ' l l l e t you do A i n the O f f e r c o n d i t i o n . H 2 QUANTITY - A main e f f e c t of q u a n t i t y w i l l be found i n both c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n s . S u b j e c t s i n the 27 28 reduced q u a n t i t y l e v e l s w i l l be l e s s a b l e t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between r e q u e s t s and o f f e r s . H 3 AGE — A main e f f e c t of age i s p r e d i c t e d a c r o s s q u a n t i t y and c o n t e x t u a l l e v e l s . O l d e r s u b j e c t s w i l l d i s c r i m i n a t e l e s s r e l i a b l y than younger s u b j e c t s . H, AGE x CONTEXT - O f f e r s a r e more l i k e l y to be r e l i a b l y d i s c r i m i n a t e d than Requests by younger s u b j e c t s ( c f . Reeder, 1981). H 5 AGE x QUANTITY - Lower l e v e l s (NP, D i s t o r t e d ) of q u a n t i t y of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t w i l l be a c c e p t e d by younger c h i l d r e n . 3.2 METHOD 3.2.1 DESIGN A 2 x 3 x 2 (AGE x QUANTITY x CONTEXT) mixed f a c t o r i a l e xperiment w i t h r e p e a t e d measures on the c o n t e x t u a l f a c t o r was d e s i g n e d . U s i n g a p a r a p h r a s e judgment t a s k paradigm, a p a i r of p r e d i c t e d speech a c t c o n t e x t s were c o n t r a s t e d . Three and f o u r - y e a r - o l d c h i l d r e n ' s d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of r e q u e s t s and o f f e r s as a f u n c t i o n of q u a n t i t y of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t a v a i l a b l e i n the s t i m u l u s items was measured. The q u a n t i t y of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t was s y s t e m a t i c a l l y reduced from a f u l l i n t e r r o g a t i v e u t t e r a n c e t o a t r u n c a t e d f i n a l o b j e c t noun phrase t o an a c o u s t i c a l l y d i s t o r t e d form of the f u l l i n t e r r o g a t i v e . 29 C h i l d r e n i n each age group ( 3 , 4) were randomly a s s i g n e d t o one of t h r e e quant i t y l e v e l s ( F u l l , NP, D i s t o r t e d ) . W i t h i n each l e v e l of q u a n t i t y (n = 9 ) , s u b j e c t s were exposed t o s i x t r i a l s of each l e v e l of c o n t e x t (Request, O f f e r ) f o r a t o t a l of t w e l v e t r i a l s per s u b j e c t . A summary of the d e s i g n appears i n T a b l e 1 below: 3.2.2 SUBJECTS Twenty-seven t h r e e - y e a r - o l d and twenty-seven f o u r - y e a r - o l d c h i l d r e n (N = 54) were randomly s e l e c t e d from the t o d d l e r and p r e s c h o o l c l a s s e s a t the C h i l d Study C e n t r e , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o lumbia. The p o p u l a t i o n of the C e n t r e i s drawn r e l a t i v e l y e q u a l l y from f a m i l i e s of u n i v e r s i t y f a c u l t y and s t a f f , s t u d e n t s , and the l o c a l community. The t h r e e - y e a r - o l d group ranged i n age from 2;0 to 3;7 w i t h a mean age of 3;3 y e a r s and the f o u r - y e a r - o l d group ranged from 3;7 — 5;0 w i t h a mean age 4;4 y e a r s . P r e v i o u s i n v e s t i g a t i o n (Reeder, 1975) i n d i c a t e d t h a t c h i l d r e n much below the age of two and o n e - h a l f y e a r s and beyond age f i v e y e a r s would be unable t o p e r f o r m the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k (as p r e s e n t l y c o n s t i t u t e d ) because of immature or advanced c o g n i t i v e development. C h i l d r e n f o r whom E n g l i s h was a r e c e n t a d d i t i o n a l language and c h i l d r e n who appeared t o have l e a r n i n g and/or adjustment problems were e x c l u d e d from the sample. I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of th e s e c h i l d r e n had been p r e v i o u s l y o b t a i n e d by means of a t e a c h e r q u e s t i o n n a i r e and s c h o o l r e c o r d s . P a r t i c i p a t i o n was 30 T a b l e 1. F a c t o r i a l D e s i g n w i t h s u b j e c t s i n each age group randomly a s s i g n e d t o the q u a n t i t y f a c t o r and w i t h r e p e a t e d measures on the c o n t e x t u a l f a c t o r AGE QUANTITY CONTEXT F u l l 3 NP D i s t o r t e d Request F u l l O f f e r 4 NP D i s t o r t e d v o l u n t a r y and no c h i l d r e f u s e d t o do the t a s k . 3.2.3 CONTEXT The c u r r e n t study r e p l i c a t e d the o v e r a l l p r o c e d u r e s f o r the s e l e c t i o n and a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the two c o n t r a s t i n g s i t u a t i o n s d e s c r i b e d i n Reeder (1981). The c o n t e x t u a l c o n t r a s t was p r e s e n t e d u s i n g a speaker (S) t e a c h e r puppet and a h e a r e r (H) c h i l d puppet i n a p r e s c h o o l s e t t i n g . Each c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n was conveyed by si m p l e p h y s i c a l cues, namely, p r o x i m i t y of the speaker and hea r e r t o the r e s p e c t i v e p l a y t h i n g . A s t i m u l u s item was p r e s e n t e d once under each l e v e l of c o n t e x t . P r e s e n t a t i o n o r d e r of the c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n was randomized a c r o s s the t w e l v e t r i a l s 31 t o c o n t r o l f o r any o r d e r e f f e c t and to make a t t r i b u t a b l e any main e f f e c t of c o n t e x t t o the c o n t r a s t i n g s i t u a t i o n . D i s c r i m i n a t i o n of the c o n t e x t u a l c o n t r a s t was measured by a f o r c e d c h o i c e from the p a i r below, of the response a l t e r n a t i v e t h a t best matched the p r a g m a t i c i n t e n t of the o r i g i n a l s t i m u l u s i t e m . P r e d i c t e d responses f o r each c o n t e x t were as f o l l o w s : Request: I want you t o do A O f f e r : I ' l l l e t you do A. 3.2.4 QUANTITY The amount of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t a v a i l a b l e i n the s t i m u l u s items was v a r i e d a t t h r e e l e v e l s e x e m p l i f i e d i n the forms below: F u l l i n t e r r o g a t i v e : Would you l i k e t o p l a y on the t r a i n ? O b j e c t Noun P h r a s e ( N P ) : the t r a i n ? D i s t o r t e d : Would you like to play on the train? (a v e r s i o n of the f u l l s t i m u l u s form a c o u s t i c a l l y t r a n s f o r m e d by means of s p e c t r a l i n v e r s i o n . ) 1 R e l i a b l e d i f f e r e n c e s between l e v e l s of the q u a n t i t y v a r i a b l e had p r e v i o u s l y been obse r v e d i n p i l o t t r i a l s where the age v a r i a b l e was c o n t r o l l e d by t e s t i n g o n l y f o u r - y e a r - o l d s . S u b j e c t s i n the reduced q u a n t i t y l e v e l s 1 A t e c h n i q u e d e v e l o p e d by A n d r e - P i e r r e B e n g u e r e l , S c h o o l of A u d i o l o g y and Speech S c i e n c e s , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C olumbia, which keeps suprasegmental parameters i n t a c t , d i s t o r t i n g o n l y segmental phonology. The a c o u s t i c wave form i s i n v e r t e d around an a x i s of 2100Hz, the e f f e c t of which i s a change i n p l a c e of a r t i c u l a t i o n . The r e s u l t i s an a c o u s t i c a l l y d i s t o r t e d y e t d e c i d e d l y l a n g u a g e - l i k e u t t e r a n c e . 32 d i s c r i m i n a t e d l e s s r e l i a b l y than those i n the F u l l c o n d i t i o n . W i t h i n each q u a n t i t y l e v e l s t i m u l u s items d i f f e r e d from one another o n l y w i t h r e g a r d t o l e x i c a l i tems r e f e r r i n g t o the p l a y t h i n g s i n the c o n s t r u c t e d c o n t e x t . 3.2.5 MATERIALS 3.2.5.1 P h y s i c a l S e t t i n g An i n d o o r / o u t d o o r model p r e s c h o o l s e t t i n g s i t u a t e d on a s m a l l low t a b l e remained c o n s t a n t throughout p r a c t i c e and t e s t s e s s i o n s . The f o u r c l a s s r o o m a c t i v i t y c e n t r e s — the b l o c k s , books, s a n d t a b l e , and a r t t a b l e were s e p a r a t e d from the f o u r p i e c e s of outdoor p l a y g r o u n d equipment - the b i k e , h o r s e , t r a i n , and s l i d e , by a c a r d b o a r d d i v i d e r . Movement back and f o r t h from the i n d o o r a c t i v i t y c e n t r e s t o the outdoor p l a y g r o u n d was managed by s i m p l y r o t a t i n g the t u r n t a b l e on which th e s e m a t e r i a l s were p l a c e d . An a n a l y s i s of p r e v i o u s p i l o t work r e v e a l e d no s y s t e m a t i c d i f f e r e n c e s between the i n d o o r and outdoor e x p e r i m e n t a l m a t e r i a l s The v a r i e t y was used s i m p l y t o f u r t h e r engage the c h i l d ' s i n t e r e s t i n the t a s k . F i s h e r - P r i c e ' L i t t l e P e o p l e ' puppets were used t o r e p r e s e n t the speaker (S) and h e a r e r s (H). S, who remained c o n s t a n t i n both c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n s was a r e a d i l y i d e n t i f i e d ' t e a c h e r ' puppet whereas H was r e p r e s e n t e d by f i v e d i f f e r e n t ' p u p i l ' puppets v a r i e d randomly a c r o s s a l l t a s k t r i a l s . 33 P o s i t i o n of S, H, and P was marked by d i f f e r e n t c o l o u r e d s t i c k e r s a t t a c h e d t o the t u r n t a b l e i n both the i n d o o r and outdoor s e t t i n g s . 3.2.5.2 The Request Context In the Request c o n d i t i o n , the t e a c h e r , S, s t o o d b e s i d e the t a r g e t p l a y t h i n g r e f e r r e d t o i n the subsequent d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k i t e m w h i l e one of the p u p i l puppets, H, was p l a c e d a t . a d i s t a n c e of 10 - 12 cm as i n F i g u r e 3. Arrows i n d i c a t e d i r e c t i o n of gaze or ' l i n e s of r e g a r d ' . The t e a c h e r ' s l o c a t i o n b e s i d e the p l a y t h i n g (P) was d e s i g n e d t o d i s p l a y a s a l i e n t s i n c e r i t y c o n d i t i o n f o r r e q u e s t s , t h a t S wants H to do A. 3.2.5.3 The O f f e r Context In the O f f e r c o n d i t i o n , S's and H's p o s i t i o n s were r e v e r s e d w i t h H d i r e c t l y f a c i n g P as i n F i g u r e 4. Here i t was assumed t h a t H's l o c a t i o n b e s i d e P would s u p p o r t a s a l i e n t s i n c e r i t y c o n d i t i o n on o f f e r s , t h a t H wants t o do A. 3.2.5.4 D i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k s t i m u l u s items S t i m u l u s items c o n s i s t e d of s i x items f o r each c o n t e x t u a l and q u a n t i t y l e v e l . Four i n d o o r and f o u r outdoor v a r i a n t s i n c l u d i n g p r a c t i c e items were used (see Appendix A ) . The s i x items per l e v e l of c o n t e x t were p r e s e n t e d i n randomized o r d e r f o r c o n t e x t and i n d o o r / o u t d o o r v a r i a n t s on p r e - r e c o r d e d tapes as shown Figure 3. Constructed Context, REQUEST Condit Figure 4. Constructed Context , OFFER Cond i t i 36 T a b l e 2. Order of D i s c r i m i n a t i o n Task Items ITEM CONTENT CONTEXT BUTTON POSITION P3. b i ke Request R P4. p i c t u r e O f f e r L 1 . books O f f e r R 2. t r a i n Request L 3. horse Request R 4. s l i d e O f f e r L 5. s a n d t a b l e Request L 6. b l o c k s O f f e r L 7. s a n d t a b l e O f f e r R 8. s l i d e Request R 9. books Request L 10. t r a i n O f f e r R 1 1 . b l o c k s Request R 12. horse O f f e r L i n T a b l e 2. The same o r d e r f o r each q u a n t i t y l e v e l was m a i n t a i n e d . 3.2.5.5 D i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k response items S i x p a i r s of c o n t r a s t i n g p a r a p h r a s e s c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o the l e x i c a l r e f e r e n t s i n the s t i m u l u s items were c o n s t r u c t e d as response a l t e r n a t i v e s . Each p a i r c o n s i s t e d of a R e q u e s t - O f f e r c o n t r a s t : I want you t o do A I'11 l e t you do A. These were dubbed onto s e p a r a t e t r a c k s of a tape w i t h l e f t and r i g h t c h a n n e l assignment randomized f o r a l l t w e l v e items i n o r d e r t o a s s u r e t h a t any c o n t e x t u a l e f f e c t c o u l d not be a t t r i b u t e d t o a p e r s e v e r a t i v e l e f t or r i g h t b u t t o n p o s i t i o n b i a s . Order of l e x i c a l 37 r e f e r e n t s i n the response items f o l l o w e d the r a n d o m i z a t i o n scheme f o r t h e s t i m u l u s items (see T a b l e 2 ) . A l l s t i m u l u s and response items were r e c o r d e d by an a d u l t female n a t i v e speaker,who was a l s o a t r a i n e d t e a c h e r , under s t u d i o c o n d i t i o n s . P o t e n t i a l e f f e c t s of t e r m i n a l i n t o n a t i o n c o n t o u r were c o n t r o l l e d f o r by u s i n g a m i d - f a l l t e r m i n a l c o n t o u r throughout f o r both s t i m u l u s and response i t e m s . The complete d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k b a t t e r y i s c o n t a i n e d i n Appendix A. 3.2.5.6 Equipment Two p o r t a b l e c a s s e t t e p l a y e r s were employed t o p r e s e n t the s t i m u l u s items and the response i t e m s . In o r d e r t o m i n i m i z e p o t e n t i a l d i s t r a c t i o n from ambient n o i s e , headphones were worn by both e x p e r i m e n t e r and s u b j e c t . A push b u t t o n s e l e c t o r s w i t c h was used by the s u b j e c t t o a c t i v a t e the t r a c k s of tape f o r the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k ' s response items. Each response i t e m was c o p i e d 6 — 8 t i m e s a l l o w i n g the s u b j e c t t o hear e i t h e r a l t e r n a t i v e form a g a i n i n any o r d e r i f needed, by p r e s s i n g each b u t t o n . 3.2.6 PROCEDURE 3.2.6.1 P r a c t i c e T r i a l s P r i o r t o a c t u a l t e s t i n g , p r a c t i c e s e s s i o n s were h e l d t o a l l o w the c h i l d r e n t o become a c q u a i n t e d w i t h the 38 e x p e r i m e n t e r , t e s t m a t e r i a l s , and equipment, as w e l l as the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k p r o c e d u r e . C h i l d r e n were seen i n d i v i d u a l l y i n a q u i e t c o r n e r of t h e i r c l a s s r o o m d u r i n g a f r e e p l a y a c t i v i t y t ime. Four p r a c t i c e items were a d m i n i s t e r e d . The f i r s t p r a c t i c e item ( P 1 ) , o c c u r r e d o u t d o o r s w i t h the t e a c h e r , p r e v i o u s l y i d e n t i f i e d , b e s i d e the b i k e . The s u b j e c t was d i r e c t e d t o " L i s t e n t o what the t e a c h e r says" b e f o r e the s t i m u l u s i t e m was p l a y e d . A probe i n the form of "What d i d the t e a c h e r s a y ? " was a d m i n i s t e r e d a t t h i s time t o determine whether the c h i l d had the n e c e s s a r y i n f o r m a t i o n t o proceed w i t h the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k . A v e r b a l r e p e t i t i o n of the s t i m u l u s item the b i k e or s i m p l y p o i n t i n g t o the b i k e was taken as evi d e n c e of u n d e r s t a n d i n g . The d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k item c o n s i s t e d of a p a i r of c o n t r a s t i n g l e x i c a l items ( t h e b i k e / the s l i d e ) . The s u b j e c t was i n s t r u c t e d t o p r e s s each b u t t o n and f i n d "Which b u t t o n says what the t e a c h e r s a i d " . P r a c t i c e item two (P2) r e p e a t e d the r o u t i n e of P1 s u b s t i t u t i n g an indoor v a r i a n t f o r the l e x i c a l items (the p i c t u r e / the b l o c k s ) and u s i n g an a l t e r n a t i v e b u t t o n assignment from P1 t o a v o i d a p o s s i b l e p e r s e v e r a t i v e e f f e c t . P r a c t i c e items t h r e e and f o u r (P3, P4) i n t r o d u c e d both the c o n t e x t u a l and the q u a n t i t y c o n d i t i o n s . The same r e f e r e n t s f o r the i n d o o r and outdoor v a r i a n t s of P1 and P2 were employed. L e v e l of exposure t o q u a n t i t y was 39 p r e v i o u s l y d e t e r m i n e d by random assignment of s u b j e c t s w i t h i n each age group t o one of t h r e e l e v e l s ( F u l l , NP, D i s t o r t e d ) . A f t e r e s t a b l i s h i n g t h a t one of the p u p i l puppets needed t o choose an a c t i v i t y , the Request c o n d i t i o n was p r e s e n t e d f o r P3. The t e a c h e r puppet was s t a n d i n g b e s i d e the b i k e and the p u p i l a d d r e s s e e was p o s i t i o n e d at a d i s t a n c e of 10 - 12 cm away on a premarked spot (see F i g u r e 3 ) . Probes were made t o a s c e r t a i n whether the s u b j e c t had p e r c e i v e d the d i f f e r e n c e i n p o s i t i o n s of the S and H and the i n f e r e n c e e n t a i l e d u s i n g the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n s : "Where i s the t e a c h e r ? " , "Where i s the b o y / g i r l ? " and "What does the t e a c h e r want?". E i t h e r v e r b a l r esponses such as "She wants him t o p l a y on the b i k e " or n o n - v e r b a l t o u c h i n g or p o i n t i n g responses t o the a p p r o p r i a t e r e f e r e n t were c o n s i d e r e d s u f f i c i e n t . Upon a c q u i s i t i o n of the e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e s of the Request c o n t e x t , each s u b j e c t was exposed t o the a p p r o p r i a t e l e v e l of q u a n t i t y f o r the s t i m u l u s i t e m . The t h r e e l e v e l s of q u a n t i t y f o r P r a c t i c e s t i m u l u s i t e m t h r e e (PS3) were as f o l l o w s : F u l l : Would you l i k e t o p l a y on the b i k e ? Noun Phrase (NP): the b i k e ? D i s t o r t e d : Wouid you like to play on the bike? ( a c o u s t i c a l l y t r a n s f o r m e d ) The s u b j e c t was then i n s t r u c t e d , t o " F i n d the b u t t o n the t e a c h e r j u s t s a i d " by p r e s s i n g each of the two b u t t o n s . 40 D i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k a l t e r n a t i v e s were the same f o r a l l s u b j e c t s . P r a c t i c e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n item t h r e e (PD3) i s e x e m p l i f i e d below. I want you t o p l a y on the b i k e . I ' l l l e t you p l a y on the b i k e . Both s t i m u l u s and d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k r e s p o n s e s c o u l d be p l a y e d r e p e a t e d l y i f n e c e s s a r y . For P4, the t e a c h e r puppet was p o s i t i o n e d about 10 - 12 cm away from the a r t t a b l e and the p u p i l puppet, who was b e s i d e the a r t t a b l e . A g a i n , as i n the Request c o n t e x t , p o s i t i o n s f o r placement were premarked f o r the O f f e r c o n t e x t ( F i g u r e 4 ) . U n d e r s t a n d i n g of speaker and h e a r e r p o s i t i o n and the c r i t i c a l i n f e r e n c e was probed by a s k i n g "Where i s the b o y / g i r l ? Where i s the t e a c h e r ? What does the b o y / g i r l want t o do?" Responses i n d i c a t i n g the a p p r o p r i a t e r e f e r e n t were c o n s i d e r e d a c c e p t a b l e . P r e s e n t a t i o n of the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k was the same as f o r P3. To m i n i m i z e b u t t o n p o s i t i o n p e r s e v e r a t i o n , t a s k items were r e v e r s e d from P3. I f c r i t e r i o n of c o r r e c t performance f o r P1 — P4 was not met, a subsequent s c r e e n i n g of n o n - l i n g u i s t i c d i s c r i m i n a t i o n a b i l i t y was a d m i n i s t e r e d . U s i n g a matching paradigm w i t h a t t r i b u t e b l o c k s , each s u b j e c t was r e q u i r e d t o make t h r e e s u c c e s s i v e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s . For those s u b j e c t s unable t o meet t h i s c r i t e r i o n , f u r t h e r t e s t i n g was postponed. 41 3.2.6.2 Test S e s s i o n s The D i s c r i m i n a t i o n Task. Test s e s s i o n s were a d m i n i s t e r e d on a s e p a r a t e day from the p r a c t i c e s e s s i o n s . Items P3 and P4 were r e a d m i n i s t e r e d as p r a c t i c e t r i a l s f o l l o w e d by the 12 d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k t r i a l s i n one or two s i t t i n g s , depending on the a t t e n t i o n span of the c h i l d . A s e s s i o n l a s t e d no l o n g e r than 15 m i n u t e s . P r e s e n t a t i o n of the 12 t r i a l s d i f f e r e d from the p r a c t i c e t r i a l s i n two ways. F i r s t , probes were e l i m i n a t e d , s i n c e a c q u i s i t i o n of the c r i t i c a l c o n t e x t u a l f e a t u r e s had been p r e v i o u s l y demonstrated. S e c o n d l y , a f t e r i n i t i a l f a m i l i a r i z a t i o n w i t h the t a s k , m a n i p u l a t i o n of the puppets was managed by the s u b j e c t s i n an e f f o r t t o m a i n t a i n t h e i r i nvolvement and i n t e r e s t i n the t e s t i n g s e s s i o n . A l l of the s u b j e c t s c l e a r l y u n d e r s t o o d the task and were reminded throughout the 12 t r i a l s t h a t "what the t e a c h e r s a i d " c o u l d occur on e i t h e r b u t t o n as e v i d e n c e d i n the p r a c t i c e t r i a l s . S t i m u l u s items and t h e i r c o r r e s p o n d i n g response a l t e r n a t i v e s were a d m i n i s t e r e d i n randomized o r d e r f o r c o n t e x t and i n d o o r / o u t d o o r v a r i a n t s as shown i n Ta b l e 2. The E l i c i t e d I m i t a t i o n Task. F o l l o w i n g the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k , the F u l l v e r s i o n s of the s t i m u l u s items f o r P3 and P4 were p r e s e n t e d i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e c o n t e x t s t o a l l s u b j e c t s . S u b j e c t s were asked t o "Say what the t e a c h e r s a i d " a f t e r each i t e m . T h i s t a s k was a d m i n i s t e r e d i n a s e p a r a t e s e s s i o n one week f o l l o w i n g 42 the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k i n o r d e r t o a v o i d p o s s i b l e c o n t a m i n a t i o n by exposure t o the f u l l form f o r those s u b j e c t s who had been a s s i g n e d t o the reduced l e v e l s of the q u a n t i t y v a r i a b l e . The purpose of i n c l u d i n g t h i s t a s k was t o examine the e x t e n t t o which p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t of the s t i m u l u s u t t e r a n c e was r e t a i n e d or a l t e r e d . 3.2.7 CODING AND ANALYSIS Raw responses were coded as l e f t or r i g h t b u t t o n s e l e c t i o n s . The 12 l e f t - r i g h t responses f o r each s u b j e c t were c o n v e r t e d i n t o n u m e r i c a l s c o r e s out of s i x f o r each paraphrase form f o r both p r e d i c t e d and n o n - p r e d i c t e d responses under each c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n where 1 = p r e d i c t e d c h o i c e and 0 = u n p r e d i c t e d c h o i c e . Two three-way a n a l y s e s of v a r i a n c e w i t h r e p e a t e d measures on c o n t e x t were performed on the r e s u l t s of the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k i n o r d e r t o t e s t the n u l l hypotheses c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o each e x p e r i m e n t a l h y p o t h e s i s . In a d d i t i o n , any spontaneous v e r b a l and n o n - v e r b a l responses were t r a n s c r i b e d and i n f o r m a l l y a n a l y z e d as was the e l i c i t e d i m i t a t i o n t a s k . 3.3 RESULTS D i s c r i m i n a t i o n Task. Mean responses f o r the s i x t r i a l s i n each c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n a d m i n i s t e r e d t o each age group under each q u a n t i t y l e v e l a r e summarized i n Ta b l e 3. P r e d i c t e d or ' c o r r e c t ' response means ( b o l d - f a c e ) are 43 Table 3. Discrimination Task Means - Request/Offer Contrast AGE RESPONSE ALTERNATIVE QUANTITY CONTEXT Request Offer Full 4.00 1.44 I want you to do A Noun Phrase 3.67 2.33 3 Distorted 3.89 1.56 Full 2.00 4.56 I'll let you do A Noun Phrase Distorted 2.33 2.11 3.67 4.44 I want you to do A Full Noun Phrase Distorted 4.44 3.44 2.56 2.33 3.44 3.56 I'll let you do A Full Noun Phrase Distorted 1.56 2.56 3.44 3.67 2.56 2.44 44 c o n t r a s t e d w i t h n o n - p r e d i c t e d or ' i n c o r r e c t ' response means under each c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n . In o r d e r t o d e t e r m i n e whether t h e r e was an o v e r a l l e f f e c t of p r e d i c t e d response i n the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t e s t of 12 i t e m s , a three-way r e p e a t e d measures a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e comparing p r e d i c t e d and n o n - p r e d i c t e d (or c o r r e c t v s . i n c o r r e c t ) responses i n each c o n t e x t was conducted. A h i g h l y s i g n i f i c a n t main e f f e c t of p r e d i c t e d responses (F = 24.34 (1 , 4 8 ) , p_ = .0000) i n d i c a t e d a l l s u b j e c t s were d i s c r i m i n a t i n g r e l i a b l y i n both the Request and O f f e r t a s k s . A second three-way a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e w i t h r e p e a t e d measures (age x q u a n t i t y x c o n t e x t ) was performed on the p r e d i c t e d ( c o r r e c t v s . c o r r e c t ) means f o r each response a l t e r n a t i v e (see T a b l e 1; bold v s . bold). The a n a l y s i s i s summarized i n Appendix B. The r e s u l t s of t h i s a n a l y s i s r e v e a l e d two s i g n i f i c a n t main e f f e c t s . F i r s t , age (F = 11.82 ( 1 , 48), 2 = .001), where t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s were d i s c r i m i n a t i n g p r a g m a t i c i n t e n t more r e l i a b l y or ' c o r r e c t l y ' than f o u r - y e a r - o l d s a c r o s s both c o n t e x t s and a l l q u a n t i t y l e v e l s . Second, q u a n t i t y (F = 5.03 (2, 4 8 ) , p = .01), whereby d i s c r i m i n a t i o n performance f o r both age groups was d e p r e s s e d i n the two reduced q u a n t i t y l e v e l s (NP and D i s t o r t e d ) , compared t o t h e i r performance i n the F u l l l e v e l . No s i g n i f i c a n t main e f f e c t f o r c o n t e x t was found. An age by q u a n t i t y i n t e r a c t i o n a p p r o a c h i n g s t a t i s t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e , (F =2.97, (2, 4 8 ) , p = .06) i s shown i n F i g u r e 5. Note t h a t the t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s ' performance drops IS) Ul o: O o tn ui (/) z o Q. in ui oc Figure 5 Mean number of predicted responses of 3 and 4-year-olds as a function of QUANTITY, Experiment I. 6-, Legend a 3 -YEAR-OLDS x 4 -YEAR-OLDS FULL NP QUANTITY DISTORTED Figure 6 Mean number of predicted responses of 3 and 4-year-olds as a function of CONTEXT, Experiment I. 3H Legend A 3-YEAR-OLDS x 4-YEAR-OLDS REQUESTS OFFERS CONTEXT 47 s l i g h t l y i n the NP c o n d i t i o n o n l y , whereas the f o u r - y e a r - o l d s ' performance i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y d e p r e s s e d i n b o th of the reduced q u a n t i t y l e v e l s . When a s u b s i d i a r y a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e was conducted w i t h o u t the NP l e v e l , however, an i n t e r a c t i o n was found (F = 7.41, (2, 4 8 ) , p_ = .01), and a S c h e f f e t e s t suggested t h a t the t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s ' advantage was i n the D i s t o r t e d c o n d i t i o n (F - 14.70, (3, 32), p_< .01). F i g u r e 6 i l l u s t r a t e s an i n t e r a c t i o n between age and c o n t e x t (F = 4.78 ( 1 , 48), p = .03). A S c h e f f e comparison c o n f i r m e d t h a t the f o u r - y e a r - o l d s ' performance was i n f e r i o r t o the t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s ' i n the O f f e r c o n t e x t ( F = 13.92 (3, 5 0 ) , £< .01). The t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s ' d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of o f f e r s , a l t h o u g h a p p e a r i n g b e t t e r than t h a t of r e q u e s t s , was not s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t . 3.4 DISCUSSION The main e f f e c t of p r e d i c t e d response which was h y p o t h e s i z e d i n H 1 f was found t o be s i g n i f i c a n t i n the e x p e c t e d d i r e c t i o n . That i s , p r e d i c t e d r esponses f o r each c o n t e x t were chosen s i g n i f i c a n t l y more o f t e n than n o n - p r e d i c t e d r e s p o n s e s . These r e s u l t s are c o n s i s t e n t w i t h p r e v i o u s s t u d i e s by Reeder (1980,1981) which showed h i g h l y r e l i a b l e performance on the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k i n d i c a t i n g t h a t young c h i l d r e n are indeed a b l e t o use c o n t e x t u a l cues i n such a way as t o r e p r e s e n t n o n - p r o p o s i t i o n a l f e l i c i t y c o n d i t i o n s i n d e t e r m i n i n g i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e . We need t o l o o k f u r t h e r t o 48 d e termine whether l i n g u i s t i c - p r o p o s i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n f a c i l i t a t e s t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g . The second h y p o t h e s i s , which p r e d i c t e d t h a t c h i l d r e n r e c e i v i n g reduced l e v e l s of q u a n t i t y of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t would d i s c r i m i n a t e l e s s r e l i a b l y than t h e i r c o u n t e r p a r t s i n the F u l l c o n d i t i o n was a l s o s u p p o r t e d . I t would appear t h a t c h i l d r e n do take l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n i n t o account i n t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e . A c l o s e r l o o k , however, at the main e f f e c t of age and the i n t e r a c t i o n s of age w i t h q u a n t i t y and c o n t e x t s u g g e s t s t h a t the p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t of a speech a c t may not be a n e c e s s a r y component i n comprehension, at l e a s t f o r our younger s u b j e c t s . The p r e d i c t i o n i n H 3 t h a t o l d e r c h i l d r e n would demonstrate a l e s s r e l i a b l e performance on the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k than t h e i r , younger c o u n t e r p a r t s was s t r o n g l y s u p p o r t e d . From a d e v e l o p m e n t a l p e r s p e c t i v e , t h i s would seem c o u n t e r - i n t u i t i v e i f we were t o assume t h a t speech a c t comprehension improves w i t h i n c r e a s e d age towards an a d u l t l e v e l of competence i n a s i m p l e l i n e a r f a s h i o n . There appears t o be, t h e n , an i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h some o t h e r elements t h a t i s c a u s i n g the f o u r - y e a r - o l d s ' d e p r e s s e d performance on the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k . E v i d e n c e f o r t h i s i s found i n the two i n t e r a c t i o n s . F i r s t , i n the age x q u a n t i t y ( F i g u r e 5) i n t e r a c t i o n , f o u r - y e a r - o l d s were a d v e r s e l y a f f e c t e d by a r e d u c t i o n i n the q u a n t i t y of l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n whereas the t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s were 49 g e n e r a l l y i m p e r v i o u s t o the reduced i n f o r m a t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the D i s t o r t e d c o n d i t i o n . The second source of d i f f i c u l t y f o r the f o u r - y e a r - o l d s appears i n the O f f e r c o n t e x t . The t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s , on the o t h e r hand, m a i n t a i n e d t h e i r good performance a c r o s s c o n t e x t s . The reason f o r t h i s i s perhaps a t t r i b u t a b l e t o e x p e r i e n c e as noted by Reeder (1981). H i s younger s u b j e c t s were d e c i d e d l y more p r o f i c i e n t a t o f f e r s than r e q u e s t s whereas h i s o l d e r s u b j e c t s performed e q u a l l y w e l l i n both c o n t e x t s . He suggested t h a t because of the younger c h i l d r e n ' s r e l a t i v e dependence upon c a r e g i v e r s f o r a s s i s t a n c e , i t might be e x p e c t e d t h a t more o f f e r s would be a d d r e s s e d t o them than r e q u e s t s whereas the i n c r e a s i n g independence of the o l d e r c h i l d r e n would a l l o w them t o c a r r y out more r e q u e s t s . The age range i n the p r e s e n t s t u d y encompasses both of the age groups examined by Reeder and th u s c o u l d account f o r the s u s t a i n e d performance of the younger c h i l d r e n a c r o s s b oth c o n t e x t s . However, t h i s does not e x p l a i n the u n e x p e c t e d l y poor performance of the f o u r - y e a r - o l d s i n the O f f e r c o n t e x t . A p o s s i b i l i t y i s t h a t the f o u r - y e a r - o l d s a r e becoming more aware of the one — many r e l a t i o n s between any l i n g u i s t i c form and i t s p o t e n t i a l i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e s and c o n s e q u e n t l y , a r e l e s s s u r e i n t h e i r judgments of i n t e n t i o n . Some support f o r t h i s e x p l a n a t i o n i s gl e a n e d from the spontaneous response d a t a . One s u b j e c t , a s s i g n e d t o the F u l l c o n d i t i o n , responded a f t e r a s t i m u l u s i t e m was p l a y e d i n the Request c o n t e x t "She means you can p l a y on the s l i d e " 50 and chose the p r e d i c t e d O f f e r response a l t e r n a t i v e . In the f o l l o w i n g t r i a l , t h i s time i n the O f f e r c o n t e x t , she p a r a p h r a s e d the s t i m u l u s as "You can p l a y on the s l i d e " but chose the Request a l t e r n a t i v e . In an o t h e r t r i a l , she commented t h a t "'Would you l i k e t o ' " means " ' I ' l l l e t you'" but chose c o r r e c t l y the Request response a l t e r n a t i v e . For the o l d e r s u b j e c t s i n the reduced q u a n t i t y l e v e l s , comments l i k e "I'm not s u r e " ; "I don't know 'cuz the t e a c h e r s a i d i t l o u d l y " ; " L i k e the funny one?" were not uncommon a f t e r b e i n g asked by the e x p e r i m e n t e r t o s e l e c t one of the response a l t e r n a t i v e s . An e x c e p t i o n was one f o u r - y e a r - o l d who c o n f i d e n t l y s t a t e d throughout a l l t a s k t r i a l s "I'm always r i g h t " a l t h o u g h he r a r e l y was. In f a c t , he was one of the s u b j e c t s who used a 'one b u t t o n ' s t r a t e g y . S i x c h i l d r e n of the 18 f o u r - y e a r - o l d s i n the reduced q u a n t i t y l e v e l s r e s o r t e d t o a s t r a t e g y of c o n s i s t e n t l y c h o o s i n g one b u t t o n when they were unable to make t h e i r judgments on the b a s i s of complete l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n . As mentioned e a r l i e r , a l l of the s u b j e c t s c l e a r l y u n d e r s t o o d the t a s k . In c o n t r a s t , o n l y one of the younger s u b j e c t s f o l l o w e d t h i s s t r a t e g y . Indeed, the t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s appeared u n a f f e c t e d by the r e d u c t i o n of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t and appeared q u i t e c o n f i d e n t i n t h e i r c h o i c e s . O b v i o u s l y t h i s d a t a does not p r o v i d e c o n c l u s i v e e v i d e n c e f o r the c o n s i d e r a t i o n of f o r c e m u l t i p l i c i t y by the o l d e r c h i l d r e n . N e v e r t h e l e s s , i t i s a p l a u s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n . 51 E l i c i t e d I m i t a t i o n Task. F i n a l l y , i n the e l i c i t e d i m i t a t i o n t a s k , 43 of the 54 i m i t a t i o n s by the f o u r - y e a r - o l d s were c o m p l e t e l y a c c u r a t e . Three i m i t a t i o n s were reduced t o a v e r b phrase ( e . g . " p l a y on the b i k e " ) . In c o m p a r i s o n , 22 of the 54 i m i t a t i o n s by the t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s were v e r b a t i m ; 6 i m i t a t i o n s were reduced to a v e r b phrase and 13 were reduced to a noun or noun phrase ( e . g . , "the b i k e " or " b i k e " ) . T h i s data s u p p o r t s the h y p o t h e s i s t h a t o l d e r c h i l d r e n a r e a b l e and/or more l i k e l y t o pay a t t e n t i o n t o the f o r m a l a s p e c t s of language i n terms of s y n t a c t i c and semantic d e t a i l s whereas the younger c h i l d r e n were l e s s l i k e l y t o do so, r e l y i n g more h e a v i l y on n o n - l i n g u i s t i c c o n t e x t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n . Thus, we can t e n t a t i v e l y c o n c l u d e t h a t t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s a r e a b l e t o use o t h e r n o n - l i n g u i s t i c c o n t e x t u a l cues i n the absence of good l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n i n t h e i r d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of r e q u e s t s and o f f e r s . CHAPTER FOUR EXPERIMENT II - REQUESTS AND QUESTIONS The r e s u l t s from Experiment I i n d i c a t e t h a t a l t h o u g h the p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t of an u t t e r a n c e was h e l p f u l i n d e t e r m i n i n g the i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e of r e q u e s t s and o f f e r s , i t d i d not appear t o be n e c e s s a r y . To examine the g e n e r a l i t y of these f i n d i n g s t o an a d d i t i o n a l p a i r of speech a c t s , a r e p l i c a t i o n of Experiment I was conducted s u b s t i t u t i n g an a l t e r n a t i v e l e v e l of c o n t e x t f o r the O f f e r c o n d i t i o n . In Experiment I I , the c o n t e x t u a l c o n t r a s t s between a Request i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the F u l l and reduced forms of Would you l i k e t o do A? paraphrased by I want you to do A and a Q u e s t i o n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the same forms, p a r a p h r a s e d by Do you want t o do A? were p r e s e n t e d . Experiment I I a l s o a d d r e s s e s the q u e s t i o n of the e x t e n t t o which c h i l d r e n employ the l i t e r a l meaning of an i n d i r e c t speech a c t en r o u t e t o i n f e r r i n g i t s c o n v e r s a t i o n a l l y conveyed meaning. 4.1 EXPERIMENTAL HYPOTHESES As i n Experiment I , i t was h y p o t h e s i z e d : H,' A main e f f e c t of p r e d i c t e d response was e x p e c t e d when comparing p r e d i c t e d and n o n - p r e d i c t e d responses w i t h s u b j e c t s c h o o s i n g I want you t o do A i n the Request c o n d i t i o n and Do you want t o do A? i n the Q u e s t i o n c o n d i t i o n s i g n i f i c a n t l y more o f t e n than chance. 52 53 H 2' QUANTITY - A main e f f e c t of q u a n t i t y was p r e d i c t e d where NP and D i s t o r t e d l e v e l s would demonstrate l e s s r e l i a b l e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n than F u l l l e v e l s i n both c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n s . H 3' AGE — A main e f f e c t of age was e x p e c t e d w i t h younger s u b j e c t s d i s c r i m i n a t i n g more r e l i a b l y than o l d e r s u b j e c t s . H a' AGE X CONTEXT - Q u e s t i o n s would be more l i k e l y t o be r e l i a b l y d i s c r i m i n a t e d from Requests by o l d e r s u b j e c t s . H 5' AGE X QUANTITY - Lower l e v e l s of q u a n t i t y would be a c c e p t e d i n the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k by younger c h i l d r e n . 4.2 METHOD 4.2.1 DESIGN A second f a c t o r i a l experiment was conducted u s i n g the same d e s i g n f o r Experiment I (see T a b l e 1), but w i t h an a l t e r n a t i v e l e v e l of the t h i r d f a c t o r , c o n t e x t , namely a Q u e s t i o n l e v e l . 4.2.2 SUBJECTS The same s u b j e c t s t h a t appeared i n Experiment I were used i n Experiment I I . P r e v i o u s random assignment w i t h i n age groups t o a g i v e n q u a n t i t y was m a i n t a i n e d . 54 4.2.3 CONTEXT The s t i m u l u s form Would you l i k e t o do A? and p a i r s of response p a r a p h r a s e s were a d m i n i s t e r e d under two c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n s , Request and Q u e s t i o n . The p r e d i c t e d p a r aphrase f o r the Request c o n d i t i o n was i n the form of I want you t o do A as c o n t r a s t e d w i t h the n o n - p r e d i c t e d form Do you want t o do A? Pa r a p h r a s e p r e d i c t i o n s were r e v e r s e d f o r the Q u e s t i o n c o n d i t i o n . S u b j e c t s w i t h i n each of the t h r e e l e v e l s of QUANTITY r e c e i v e d s i x v a r i a n t s of the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k under the two l e v e l s of c o n t e x t f o r a t o t a l of 12 t r i a l s . Order of c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n and s t i m u l u s i t e m v a r i a n t s w i t h c o r r e s p o n d i n g response a l t e r n a t i v e s was randomized a c r o s s t r i a l s . The same o r d e r as i l l u s t r a t e d i n Ta b l e 2 f o r Experiment I was employed. 4.2.4 QUANTITY Three l e v e l s of q u a n t i t y were a g a i n used, F u l l , NP, and D i s t o r t e d , as i n Experiment I . 4.2.5 MATERIALS The same p h y s i c a l s e t t i n g and s t i m u l u s items from Experiment I were used (see 3.2.5 f o r a d e s c r i p t i o n ) w i t h a t o t a l of s i x items per c o n t e x t u a l l e v e l u s i n g t h r e e i n d o o r and t h r e e outdoor tape r e c o r d e d v a r i a n t s . S i x p a i r s of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n response items c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o the s t i m u l u s items v a r i a n t s were a l s o employed f o r each c o n t e x t u a l l e v e l . T h i s t i m e , however, p a r a p h r a s e a l t e r n a t i v e s c o n s i s t e d of the 55 R e q u e s t - Q u e s t i o n c o n t r a s t . D e t a i l s are g i v e n below. Appendix C g i v e s a d e s c r i p t i o n of a c t u a l t e s t items used. 4.2.5.1 The Request Context C o n t r a s t between the two c o n t e x t s was marked by r e l a t i v e p o s i t i o n i n g of the S, H, and P. P r e s e n t a t i o n of the the Request c o n d i t i o n o c c u r r e d as o u t l i n e d i n Experiment I (3.2.5.2) and i l l u s t r a t e d i n F i g u r e 3. 4.2.5.2 The Q u e s t i o n C o n t e x t Here, the t e a c h e r puppet j o i n e d a d i f f e r e n t c h i l d a d dressee at a d i s t a n c e of 10 - 12 cm from the p l a y t h i n g . S and H were l o o k i n g at each o t h e r as shown i n F i g u r e 7. E q u i d i s t a n t p o s i t i o n s f o r S and H from P were premarked t o f a c i l i t a t e placement of the puppets by the s u b j e c t . T h i s was an attempt to convey f i r s t , the p r e p a r a t o r y s i n c e r i t y c o n d i t i o n on a Q u e s t i o n , (S cannot know whether or not H wants t o do A) and,second, t o p r o v i d e grounds f o r S's r e j e c t i o n of a Request (I want you t o t o do A) i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , i n t h a t t h e r e s h o u l d be no b a s i s f o r i n f e r r i n g t h a t S wants H t o do A, i t s e l f a n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n f o r r e q u e s t i n g . U n d e r s t a n d i n g of the c r i t i c a l i n f e r e n c e s r e g a r d i n g S's a t t i t u d e toward H d o i n g A were probed. A p p r o p r i a t e responses t o the q u e s t i o n s "What does the t e a c h e r want the c h i l d t o do?" and "What does the c h i l d want t o do?" would i n c l u d e " a n y t h i n g " or "I don't know" or s u g g e s t i o n s of s e v e r a l a l t e r n a t i v e p l a y t h i n g s . 5 6 Figure 7. Constructed Context, QUESTION Condition 57 4.2.5.3 P r a c t i c e and Test S e s s i o n s A minimum p e r i o d of t h r e e weeks between the c o n c l u s i o n of Experiment I and the b e g i n n i n g of Experiment I I was a l l o w e d to reduce the p o s s i b i l i t y of any s e r i a l e f f e c t s . P1 and P2 (Experiment I) were o m i t t e d , as s u b j e c t s were a l r e a d y f a m i l i a r w i t h the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k . P3 remained and P r a c t i c e Item 5. (P5) was s u b s t i t u t e d f o r P4. P5 i n t r o d u c e d the Q u e s t i o n c o n t e x t . D i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k t r i a l s f o l l o w e d the p r a c t i c e t r i a l s and were sometimes spaced over two s i t t i n g s i f a c h i l d became f a t i g u e d or l o s t i n t e r e s t . On most o c c a s i o n s however, t e s t i n g was completed i n one s i t t i n g . Each s u b j e c t was p r e s e n t e d w i t h 12 s t i m u l u s sentences and t h e i r c o r r e s p o n d i n g p a r a p h r a s e s . 4.2.5.4 A n a l y s i s Two a n a l y s e s of v a r i a n c e were computed on the response s c o r e s f o r each age group under each q u a n t i t y l e v e l and under each c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n . Mean s c o r e s f o r p r e d i c t e d and n o n - p r e d i c t e d responses i n each c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n are summarized i n T a b l e 4. E l i c i t e d i m i t a t i o n s and spontaneous responses were a n a l y z e d i n f o r m a l l y . 4.3 RESULTS The 12 l e f t - r i g h t responses per s u b j e c t were c o n v e r t e d i n t o n u m e r i c a l s c o r e s out of s i x f o r each response a l t e r n a t i v e i n each c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n . Mean s c o r e s f o r each age group 58 Table 4. Discrimination Task Means - Request/Question Contrast AGE RESPONSE ALTERNATIVE QUANTITY CONTEXT Request Question Full 5.22 1.56 I want you to do A Noun Phrase 4.56 1.67 Distorted 5.22 2.44 3 Full 0.78 4.44 Do you want to do A? Noun Phrase 1.44 4.33 Distorted 0.78 3.56 Full 4.67 3.22 I want you to do A Noun Phrase 2.89 3.11 Distorted 3.33 2.67 4 Full 1.33 2.78 Do you want to do A? Noun Phrase 3.11 2.89 Distorted 2.67 3.33 59 under each q u a n t i t y l e v e l and under each c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n appear i n T a b l e 4. As i n Experiment I , mean s c o r e s were s u b m i t t e d to two a n a l y s e s of v a r i a n c e w i t h r e p e a t e d measures on the c o n t e x t u a l f a c t o r . A g a i n , an a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e of p r e d i c t e d and n o n - p r e d i c t e d d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k means ( b o l d vs l i g h t ) showed a h i g h l y s i g n i f i c a n t main e f f e c t of p r e d i c t e d response i n the p r e d i c t e d d i r e c t i o n (F = 67.60 ( 1 , 48), p = .0000). In the second a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e , (summarized i n Appendix D), comparing c o r r e c t s c o r e s , we a g a i n d i s c o v e r e d a main e f f e c t of age (F = 26.92 ( 1 , 4 8 ) , p_ = .0000), i n the same d i r e c t i o n f a v o u r i n g the performance of the t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s . A main e f f e c t of c o n t e x t (F = 16.60 ( 1 , 4 8 ) , p_ = .0002) r e v e a l e d t h a t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of Requests was g e n e r a l l y b e t t e r than of Q u e s t i o n s . No main e f f e c t of the q u a n t i t y v a r i a b l e was found. However, as shown i n F i g u r e 8, q u a n t i t y d i d i n t e r a c t w i t h c o n t e x t , (F = 3.62 (2, 4 8 ) , p_ = .03). S c h e f f e t e s t s c o n f i r m e d t h a t a l l s u b j e c t s d i s c r i m i n a t e d Requests i n the F u l l c o n d i t i o n more e f f e c t i v e l y than they d i s c r i m i n a t e d Q u e s t i o n s i n the NP c o n d i t i o n (F = 18.41 (5, 4 8 ) , p_< .01) and the D i s t o r t e d c o n d i t i o n (F = 23.07 (5, 48 ) , p_< .01). As w e l l , F u l l Requests were d i s c r i m i n a t e d b e t t e r than Requests i n the NP c o n d i t i o n (F = 15.26 ( 5 , - 4 8 ) , p_< .05). F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e r e was a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between Requests and Q u e s t i o n s i n the F u l l c o n d i t i o n s (F = 18.41 (5, 48) , p_< .01 ) . Figure 8 Mean number of predicted Request and Question responses 6- 5- as a function of QUANTITY, Experiment II. SC O R ES  4 - U l tn 3 - O 0. c/i U l oc 2- 1- Legend A REQUESTS 0 x QUESTIONS FULL NP DISTORTED QUANTITY O Figure 9.0 Mean number of predicted Request and Question responses of 3 and 4 - y e a r - o l d s as a function of QUANTITY, Experiment II. Legend « 3-YEAR-OLD REQUESTS » 3-YEAR-OLD QUESTIONS o 4—YEAR—OLD REQUESTS • 4 -YEAR-OLD QUESTIONS FULL NP DISTORTED QUANTITY 62 A three-way i n t e r a c t i o n , age x q u a n t i t y x c o n t e x t was a l s o d i s c o v e r e d (F = 4.63 (2, 48) p_ = .01). S c h e f f e comparisons r e v e a l e d t h a t the source of the t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s ' advantage was t h e i r r e l a t i v e l y b e t t e r performance i n the two reduced q u a n t i t y l e v e l s (F = 32.46 (11, 42) p_ = .01). T h e i r apparent s u p e r i o r i t y on the Q u e s t i o n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n the F u l l and NP c o n d i t i o n s (see F i g u r e 9.0), was not s i g n i f i c a n t . 4.4 DISCUSSION The h y p o t h e s i s t h a t c h i l d r e n would be a b l e t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between p r e d i c t e d and n o n - p r e d i c t e d r e s p o n s e s f o r Requests and Q u e s t i o n s was s u p p o r t e d , i n d i c a t i n g f u r t h e r t h a t the e x p e r i m e n t a l procedure used i n Experiment I i s s e n s i t i v e enough t o d e t e c t c o n t e x t u a l d i f f e r e n c e s . A l s o , the p r e d i c t i o n t h a t the younger s u b j e c t s would o u t p e r f o r m the f o u r - y e a r - o l d s was a g a i n s u p p o r t e d ( H 2 ' ) . An unexpected f i n d i n g of a main e f f e c t of c o n t e x t i n which c h i l d r e n were b e t t e r a b l e t o d i s c r i m i n a t e Requests than Q u e s t i o n s w a r r a n t s f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n . I t i s suggested t h a t a b i a s toward a ' n o n - l i t e r a l ' or ' i n d i r e c t ' speech a c t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n as d e f i n e d by s t a n d a r d speech a c t t h e o r y , i s i n e v i d e n c e . Some sup p o r t f o r t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s found i n the l i t e r a t u r e . S h a t z ' s (1974) f i n d i n g s of an e a r l y ' a c t i o n response' b i a s i n v e r y young c h i l d r e n i s s t i l l e v i d e n t a t the t h i r d grade (Ackerman, 1978). In a d u l t s , G ibbs (1979, 1983) d i s c o v e r e d a s i m i l a r b i a s toward the 63 n o n - l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of an u t t e r a n c e . The r e s u l t s may a l s o be a t t r i b u t e d t o an i d i o s y n c r a t i c a s p e c t of the procedure i n which one of the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n task a l t e r n a t i v e s "Do you want t o do A?" i s sometimes used t o convey a r e q u e s t i n f o r m a l l y . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of the r e q u e s t c o n d i t i o n may be f a c i l i t a t e d because of the ' p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i r e c t n e s s ' of "I want you t o do A" ( E r v i n - T r i p p & Gordon, i n p r e s s ) . A c c o r d i n g t o E r v i n - T r i p p (1984), i n f e r r i n g the s p e a k e r ' s i n t e n t i s e a s i e r when i t i s e x p l i c i t l y s t a t e d ( i . e . , s a y i n g what's on your mind) than f o r m u l a t i n g what the h e a r e r has t o do. However, g i v e n the t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s ' r e l a t i v e l y s u c c e s s f u l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of Q u e s t i o n s as compared t o the f o u r - y e a r - o l d s , t h i s e x p l a n a t i o n seems d o u b t f u l . A l t h o u g h no main e f f e c t of q u a n t i t y was found as p r e d i c t e d i n H 3', t h i s does not n e c e s s a r i l y imply t h a t the reduced amount of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t d i d not a f f e c t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . The e f f e c t of q u a n t i t y i s embedded w i t h i n the i n t e r a c t i o n between c o n t e x t and q u a n t i t y i n which Q u e s t i o n s a r e d i s c r i m i n a t e d l e s s r e l i a b l y i n the F u l l c o n d i t i o n . In c o n s i d e r i n g our d e v e l o p m e n t a l h y p o t h e s i s t h a t t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s would r e q u i r e l e s s p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t i n the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k , we need t o examine i n d e t a i l the i n t e r a c t i o n of q u a n t i t y and c o n t e x t f o r each age group ( F i g u r e s 9.0 - 9.2). The t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s ' o v e r a l l advantage on the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k appears t o be the r e s u l t of t h e i r 64 c o m p a r a t i v e l y b e t t e r performance i n the two reduced q u a n t i t y l e v e l s on Request i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s ( F i g u r e 9.0). F i g u r e 9.1 shows o n l y the t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s ' performance a c r o s s q u a n t i t y and c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n s . A l t h o u g h t h e i r d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of Requests i n the NP and D i s t o r t e d c o n d i t i o n s was i n the p r e d i c t e d d i r e c t i o n , t h e i r d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of Q u e s t i o n s a t the D i s t o r t e d l e v e l dropped u n e x p e c t e d l y . We c o n s i d e r t h i s t o r e s u l t from a l a c k of good c o n t e x t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n as much as from a l a c k of good l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n . 2 The c o n s t r u c t e d c o n t e x t f o r Q u e s t i o n s was d e s i g n e d t o be as n e u t r a l as p o s s i b l e i n terms of n o n - p r o p o s i t i o n a l cues. I t would seem t h a t , i n the absence of r i c h c o n t e x t u a l c u e s , c h i l d r e n have more d i f f i c u l t y i n d i s c r i m i n a t i n g speaker i n t e n t i o n s , and c o n s e q u e n t l y , w i l l be b i a s e d toward an a c t i o n - b a s e d r e s p o n s e . The f o u r - y e a r - o l d s ( F i g u r e 9.2) performed not o n l y r e l a t i v e l y p o o r l y i n the reduced q u a n t i t y l e v e l s a c r o s s both c o n t e x t u a l c o n d i t i o n s as p r e d i c t e d , but a l s o p a r t i c u l a r l y p o o r l y i n the F u l l Q u e s t i o n c o n d i t i o n . The f o u r - y e a r - o l d s , i n computing a l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n f o r an i n d i r e c t speech a c t , may e x p e r i e n c e more d i f f i c u l t y i n a s s i g n i n g i t because of t h e i r awareness of f o r c e - a m b i g u i t y . For the o l d e r c h i l d r e n , the t a s k i s much more complex because of t h e i r i n c r e a s i n g r e l i a n c e upon l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n i n d e t e r m i n i n g i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e , whereas the younger 2 I would l i k e t o thank R i t a Watson f o r her i n s i g h t f u l comments i n h e l p i n g f o r m u l a t e t h i s e x p l a n a t i o n . I Figure 9.1 Mean number of predicted Request and Question responses of 3-year-olds as a function of QUANTITY, Experiment II. t/> UJ a: o a 4 - 1 0 •z. o t/i u i oc Legend » 3-YEAR-OLD REQUESTS » 3-YEAR-OLD QUESTIONS FULL NP QUANTITY DISTORTED Figure 9.2 Mean number of predicted Request and Question responses of 4-year-olds as a function of QUANTITY, Experiment II. Legend » 4 - V U R - O l P REQUESTS « 4 -YtAR-OLD QUESTIONS FULL NP DISTORTED QUANTITY 67 c h i l d r e n a r e more h e a v i l y dependent upon c o n t e x t u a l cues. E l i c i t e d I m i t a t i o n Task. A g a i n , as i n Exp e r i m e n t I , the f o u r - y e a r - o l d s ' v e r b a t i m responses (47 of a t o t a l of 54) were c o n s i d e r a b l y more f r e q u e n t than the t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s ' (14 out of 54). The younger c h i l d r e n tended t o reduce t h e i r r e s ponses t o a verb or o b j e c t nounphrase (23/54) whereas t h i s o c c u r r e d o n l y once f o r the o l d e r c h i l d r e n . In a d d i t i o n , the t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s tended t o accompany t h e i r r esponses w i t h a c t i o n s ( i . e . , p l a c i n g the puppets on the v a r i o u s p l a y t h i n g s ) . These i n f o r m a l r e s u l t s p r o v i d e c o r r o b o r a t i o n of our p r e v i o u s f i n d i n g s r e g a r d i n g the a t t e n t i o n t o f u n c t i o n r a t h e r than form by the younger c h i l d r e n . C o n v e r s e l y , the o l d e r c h i l d r e n ' s i n c r e a s i n g awareness of l i n g u i s t i c d e t a i l i s e v i d e n c e d i n t h e number of a c c u r a t e i m i t a t i o n s . CHAPTER FIVE THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE IN SPEECH ACT COMPREHENSION 5.1 GENERAL DISCUSSION The f i n d i n g s on the e f f e c t s of c o n t e x t on c h i l d r e n ' s performance on the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k r e p l i c a t e those r e p o r t e d by Reeder (1980, 1981) o f f e r i n g f u r t h e r support t o the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t young c h i l d r e n can d i s c r i m i n a t e between speech a c t s u s i n g c o n t e x t u a l cues. The r e s u l t s of the two exp e r i m e n t s d i s c u s s e d i n d i v i d u a l l y above can now both be c o n s i d e r e d i n the c o n t e x t of the major r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n i n v e s t i g a t e d h e r e : the e x t e n t t o which c h i l d r e n depend upon l i n g u i s t i c - p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t i n d e t e r m i n i n g i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e . 5.1.1 AGE X QUANTITY Shatz (1978, 1983) m a i n t a i n s t h a t a t the e a r l i e s t s t a g e s c h i l d r e n do not fo c u s upon l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n i n t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of i n d i r e c t speech a c t s but r e l y upon a p r i m i t i v e p r a g m a t i c s t r a t e g y u s i n g an a c t i o n - b a s e d r e s ponse. G r a d u a l l y they l e a r n t o use more l i n g u i s t i c and c o n t e x t u a l cues i n r e s p o n d i n g a p p r o p r i a t e l y t o i l l o c u t i o n a r y a m b i g u i t y . The f o c u s of t h i s s t u d y , t h e r e f o r e , was t o examine whether c h i l d r e n were a b l e t o dete r m i n e i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e w i t h reduced l i n g u i s t i c - p r o p o s i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n and to see whether t h i s a b i l i t y i n t e r a c t e d w i t h a de v e l o p m e n t a l v a r i a b l e of age. 68 69 The r e s u l t s of t h i s s tudy i n d i c a t e t h a t r e l i a n c e upon l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n i n d e t e r m i n i n g i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e i n c r e a s e s w i t h age. Younger c h i l d r e n c o u l d c o m p e t e n t l y d i s c r i m i n a t e between Requests and O f f e r s , and Requests and Q u e s t i o n s r e g a r d l e s s of the amount of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t a v a i l a b l e t o them. The tendency of these c h i l d r e n i s t o a t t e n d t o c o n t e x t u a l l y - b a s e d r a t h e r than l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n . O l d e r c h i l d r e n , on the o t h e r hand, when g i v e n reduced l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n , were l e s s a b l e to d i s c r i m i n a t e between speech a c t s . A t t e n t i o n t o p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t , t h e r e f o r e , appears t o f u n c t i o n d i f f e r e n t l y f o r t h r e e and f o u r - y e a r - o l d s . These f i n d i n g s o f f e r f u r t h e r s u pport f o r p o s t u l a t i n g a d e v e l o p m e n t a l s h i f t i n . c h i l d r e n ' s speech a c t p r o c e s s i n g from d i r e c t l y i n f e r r i n g i n t e n t from c o n t e x t u a l cues t o a more l i n e a r approach which r e l i e s more h e a v i l y upon p r o p o s i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n . 5.1.2 AGE X CONTEXT S e a r l e (1979) and C l a r k (1979) among o t h e r s c l a i m t h a t comprehension of i n d i r e c t speech a c t s ( u t t e r a n c e s w i t h m u l t i p l e p o s s i b l e p r a g m a t i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s ) r e q u i r e s p r o c e s s i n g of the l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of an u t t e r a n c e i n a d d i t i o n t o i t s c o n v e r s a t i o n a l l y conveyed meaning. Gib b s c h a l l e n g e d t h i s c l a i m s u g g e s t i n g t h a t the conveyed meaning can be d i r e c t l y i n f e r r e d on the b a s i s of i t s c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y and c o n t e x t . The c u r r e n t study i n v e s t i g a t e d as a s u b s i d i a r y q u e s t i o n , d e v e l o p m e n t a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n a s s i g n i n g a l i t e r a l 7 0 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to i n d i r e c t speech a c t s by e x amining the i n t e r a c t i o n between age and c o n t e x t . The o v e r a l l f i n d i n g s c a s t c o n s i d e r a b l e doubt on the p s y c h o l o g i c a l v a l i d i t y of the l i n e a r model's c l a i m of the n e c e s s i t y of d e t e r m i n i n g the l i t e r a l meaning of i n d i r e c t speech a c t s . T h i s was demonstrated by the e f f e c t s of c o n t e x t on c h i l d r e n ' s performance on the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t a s k i n Experiment I I . I f c h i l d r e n were computing the l i t e r a l f o r c e i n each speech a c t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , t h e i r performance i n the Q u e s t i o n c o n d i t i o n s h o u l d have been at l e a s t as r e l i a b l e as i n the Request c o n d i t i o n . I n s t e a d , r e q u e s t s were d i s c r i m i n a t e d more r e l i a b l y than Q u e s t i o n s , i n d i c a t i n g t h a t c h i l d r e n were c o n s i d e r i n g the n o n - l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n d i r e c t l y . T h i s was i n s p i t e of the f a c t the Q u e s t i o n p a r a p h r a s e more c l o s e l y resembled the s t i m u l u s u t t e r a n c e s i n s y n t a c t i c and semantic form. 5.2 SUMMARY OF EXPERIMENTAL FINDINGS T h i s study examined the e f f e c t s of v a r y i n g the amount of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t a v a i l a b l e i n a speech a c t on t h r e e and f o u r - y e a r - o l d c h i l d r e n ' s comprehension of r e q u e s t s , o f f e r s , and q u e s t i o n s . A s u b s i d i a r y i s s u e r a i s e d was the e x t e n t t o which the l i t e r a l meaning of a speech a c t i s c o n s i d e r e d i n a d d i t i o n t o i t s i n t e n d e d n o n - l i t e r a l or i n d i r e c t meaning. Two f a c t o r i a l e x p e r i m e n t s were conducted which c o n t r a s t e d a p a i r of speech a c t s . R e s u l t s i n d i c a t e d t h a t younger s u b j e c t s were g e n e r a l l y u n a f f e c t e d by reduced amounts of 71 l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n , r e l y i n g more h e a v i l y on n o n - l i n g u i s t i c c o n t e x t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n as a b a s i s of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n between speech a c t s . The o l d e r s u b j e c t s were g e n e r a l l y a d v e r s e l y a f f e c t e d by reduced q u a n t i t y , r e q u i r i n g more l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n i n o r d e r t o make i l l o c u t i o n a r y p a r a p hrase judgments. E v i d e n c e from the e l i c i t e d i m i t a t i o n t a s k c o r r o b o r a t e d these r e s u l t s . These f i n d i n g s are c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the c l a i m t h a t younger c h i l d r e n use a speech a c t comprehension s t r a t e g y which i s r e l a t i v e l y more c o n t e x t - d e p e n d e n t , whereas o l d e r c h i l d r e n are more t e x t - d e p e n d e n t . I t i s s u g g ested t h i s r e f l e c t s the r o l e of d e v e l o p i n g l i n g u i s t i c awareness as a f a c t o r u n d e r l y i n g these changing s t r a t e g i e s . Younger c h i l d r e n appear t o be p r o c e s s i n g i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e i n a d i r e c t manner, w h i l e o l d e r c h i l d r e n are t a k i n g i n t o account a broader range of l i n g u i s t i c a l l y p o s s i b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s perhaps i n c l u d i n g l i t e r a l meaning. 5.3 CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS The o v e r a l l f i n d i n g s of the p r e s e n t study i n d i c a t e t h a t a l t h o u g h s u b j e c t s are a b l e t o d i s c r i m i n a t e between c o n t e x t s u s i n g c o n t e x t u a l cues, the absence of good l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n i s more l i k e l y t o a f f e c t the o l d e r c h i l d r e n . F u r t h e r m o r e , even when f u l l p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t was a v a i l a b l e , the f o u r - y e a r - o l d s s t i l l had d i f f i c u l t y i n i n t e r p r e t i n g O f f e r s and Q u e s t i o n s whereas the t h r e e - y e a r - o l d s e x p e r i e n c e d r e l a t i v e d i f f i c u l t y o n l y w i t h 72 d i s t o r t e d Q u e s t i o n s . S e v e r a l c o n c l u s i o n s can be drawn from these r e s u l t s . As i n d i c a t e d i n the d e v e l o p m e n t a l l i t e r a t u r e c i t e d above ( 2 . 3 ) , young c h i l d r e n ' s pragmatic competence i s w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d by around t h r e e y e a r s a t l e a s t i n terms of i n f e r r i n g i l l o c u t i o n a r y i n t e n t . T h i s competence i s a c q u i r e d i n normal communicative i n t e r a c t i o n where r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e c o n t e x t u a l support o f t e n makes a d d i t i o n a l l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n redundant. A l t h o u g h i t i s not beyond the p r e s c h o o l c h i l d ' s a b i l i t y t o take l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n i n t o a c c o u n t , i t i s l e s s i m p o r t a n t t o the c h i l d a t t h i s s t a g e . Because the l i n g u i s t i c meaning of an u t t e r a n c e i s embedded i n c o n t e x t , the c o n t e x t u a l f a c t o r s a r e more s a l i e n t i n s i g n a l l i n g p r a g m a t i c i n t e n t . In the absence of r i c h c o n t e x t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n , c h i l d r e n have more d i f f i c u l t y i n t e r p r e t i n g i l l o c u t i o n a r y f o r c e (as i l l u s t r a t e d by t h e i r d i f f i c u l t y w i t h the Q u e s t i o n c o n t e x t of Experiment I I ) . Younger c h i l d r e n , i n p a r t i c u l a r , seem t o r e v e r t t o an e a r l i e r a c t i o n - b a s e d response s t r a t e g y as was d i s c o v e r e d by Shatz (1978b). Other m a t u r a t i o n a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n speech a c t p r o c e s s i n g s t r a t e g i e s appear t o o c c u r . O l d e r c h i l d r e n a r e a b l e t o c o n s i d e r a range of p o s s i b l e l i n g u i s t i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s based on t h e i r knowledge of language c o n v e n t i o n s w h i l e younger c h i l d r e n base t h e i r s t r a t e g i e s on t h e i r knowledge of of the w o r l d ( c f . H i l d y a r d & O l s o n , 1982). Younger s u b j e c t s appear t o be d i r e c t p r o c e s s o r s of speech a c t 73 meaning u s i n g t h e i r w o r l d - b a s e d knowledge whereas the o l d e r c h i l d r e n a r e more l i n e a r i n t h e i r approach as a consequence of t h e i r a t t e n d i n g t o c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y and form. T h i s c o n c l u s i o n complements G i b b s ' f i n d i n g s i n a d u l t r e s e a r c h (1979). I t appears t h a t the o l d e r , s u b j e c t s i n our study are a t the e a r l y s t a g e s of d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g form and f u n c t i o n and c o n s e q u e n t l y a r e e x p e r i e n c i n g some d i f f i c u l t y i n u s i n g t h e i r d e v e l o p i n g l i n g u i s t i c awareness i n the most e f f i c i e n t manner. An e x t e n s i o n of upper d e v e l o p m e n t a l bound t o i n c l u d e f i v e and p o s s i b l y s i x - y e a r - o l d s would a l l o w us t o i n v e s t i g a t e the p o s s i b i l i t y of a U-shaped c u r v e i n the a b i l i t y t o c o o r d i n a t e l i n g u i s t i c and c o n t e x t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n . In a d d i t i o n , the r e s u l t s of t h i s study need f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n w i t h r e s p e c t t o the n e c e s s i t y of a s p e c t s o t h e r than q u a n t i t y of p r o p o s i t i o n a l c o n t e n t i n comprehending speech a c t s . I t would a l s o be of i n t e r e s t t o know i f d i f f e r e n t speech a c t s c o u l d be ex p e c t e d t o p e r f o r m s i m i l a r i l y a c r o s s the same age and q u a n t i t y l e v e l s . R e p l i c a t i o n of t h i s study t o i n c l u d e A s s e r t i o n s , f o r example, would c o n t r i b u t e t o our knowledge about another one of the predominant speech a c t s used i n c l a s s r o o m d i s c o u r s e . G iven t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n , a more s y s t e m a t i c account of how c h i l d r e n d e v e l o p i n t h e i r a b i l i t y t o i n f e r i n t e n t i o n s from what was s a i d would be p o s s i b l e and c o n s e q u e n t l y c o u l d be r e f l e c t e d i n t e a c h i n g p r a c t i c e s which were s e n s i t i v e t o thes e d i f f e r e n t i a l s t r a t e g i e s . 74 An i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the r o l e of e x p e r i e n c e i n a d d i t i o n t o c h r o n o l o g i c a l age, i n the s h i f t of these speech a c t p r o c e s s i n g s t r a t e g i e s might r e v e a l some i n t e r e s t i n g d i f f e r e n c e s . C h i l d r e n whose p r e s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s have p r o v i d e d them w i t h many o p p o r t u n i t i e s to use language i n s i m i l i a r ways to those r e l i e d upon i n s c h o o l ( i . e . , u s i n g language as a s e p a r a t e e n t i t y ) may be at an advantage ( O l s o n , 1984). Do c h i l d r e n who have been exposed to these k i n d s of e x p e r i e n c e s behave s i m i l a r l y to our o l d e r s u b j e c t s when d i s c r i m i n a t i n g speech a c t s ? Some c h i l d r e n may need h e l p i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g the r o l e of l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g communicative i n t e n t . T h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s or m a t u r a t i o n a l l e v e l may be such t h a t they have d i f f i c u l t y i n ' b o o t s t r a p p i n g ' t h e i r l i n g u i s t i c knowledge onto t h e i r r e a l w o r l d knowledge. Much of s c h o o l l e a r n i n g r e q u i r e s t h a t c h i l d r e n suspend t h e i r a b i l i t y t o use language i n c o n v e r s a t i o n a l c o n t e x t s , e x t r a c t i n g i t from i t s communicative f u n c t i o n i n o r d e r t o 're-embed' i t as an a b s t r a c t o b j e c t i n v a r i o u s t a s k s . For those c h i l d r e n h a v i n g d i f f i c u l t y c o o r d i n a t i n g l i n g u i s t i c and p r a g m a t i c r u l e s , e x p l i c i t t e a c h i n g s t r a t e g i e s to d e v e l o p t h e i r l i n g u i s t i c awareness may h e l p extend t h e i r o v e r a l l communicative competence. REFERENCES Ackerman, B.P. 1978. C h i l d r e n ' s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of speech a c t s i n u n c o n v e n t i o n a l d i r e c t i v e frames. C h i l d Development, 49, 311-318. A u s t i n , J . 1962. How t o do T h i n g s w i t h Words. Cambridge: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . Bach, K. & H a r n i s h , R.M. 1979. 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I want you to play on the train. I'll let you play- on the train. 2. W o u l d you like to play on the slide? I want you to play on the slide. I'll let you play on the slide. 3. W o u l d you like to play on the horse? I want you to play on the horse. I'll let you play on the horse. 4. W o u l d you like lo play with the blocks? I want you to play with the blocks. I'll let you play with the blocks. 5. W o u l d you like to play at the sandtable? I want you lo play at the sandtable. I'll let you play at the sandtable. 6. W o u l d you like to look at the books? I want you to look at the books. I'll let you look at the books. O F F E R C o n d i t i o n , 6 items Stimulus and response items are identical to those presented in in A above. Practice Items Response Alternatives P I . the bike the bike the slide P2. the picture the books the picture P3. W o u l d you like to play on the bike? I want you to play on the bike. I'll let you play on the bike. P4. W o u l d you like to make a picture? I want you to make a picture. I'll let you make a picture. A P P E N D I X A ( c o n l . ) E X P E R I M E N T I: Discrimination Task B a t t e r y , Object Noun Phrase ( N P ) C o n d i t i o n R E Q U E S T C o n d i t i o n , 6 items Stimulus Hems Response Alternatives 1. the train? I want you to play on the train. I'll let you play on the train. 2. the slide? I want you to play on the slide. I'll let you play on the slide. 3. the liorse? I want you to play on the horse. I'll let you play on the horse. 4. the blocks? I want you to play with the blocks. : I'll let you play with the blocks. 5. the sandtable? I want you to play at the sandtable. I'll let you play at the sandtable. 6. the books? I want you to look at the books. I'll let you look at the books. O F F E R C o n d i t i o n , 6 items Stimulus and response items are identical to those presented in in A above. Practice Items Response A l t e r n a l i v e s P L the bike the bike the slide P2. the picture the books the picture P3. the bike? 1 want you to play on the bike. I'll let you play on the bike. P4. a picture? I want you to make a picture. I'll let you make a picture. CO 83 APPENDIX B Summary of Analysis of Variance for Predicted Means, EXPERIMENT I Source SS df MS F Between-Subjects A G E 19.59 1 19.59 11.82 .001 QUANTITY 16.67 2 8.33 5.03 .01 A X Q 9.85 2 4.93 2.97 .06 ERROR 79.56 48 1.66 . Within- Subjects CONTEXT 0.33 1 0.33 0.25 .62 A X C 6.26 1 6.26 4.78 .03 Q X C 2.00 2 1.00 0.76 .47 A X Q X C 0.52 2 0.26 0.20 .82 ERROR 62.89 48 1.32 Total 1408.33 1 1408.33 849.72 APPENDIX C E X P E R I M E N T II: Discrimination Task ISattery, Full and Distorted Conditions A . R E Q U E S T Condition, 6 items Stimulus Items Response Alternatives 1. W o u l d vou like lo nlriy on the twin1} i , v a n t ycv. or. 1 A.. you V. dill. to pi ci y On u i c t ic i i i i : 2. W o u l d you like to play on the slide? I want you to play on the slide. D o you want to play on the slide? 3. W o u l d you like to play on the horse? I want you to play on the horse. D o you wan I to play on the horse? 4. W o u l d you like to play with the blocks? I want you to play with the blocks. D o you want to play with the blocks? 5. W o u l d you like to play at the sandtable? I want you to play at the sandtable. D o you want to play at the sandtable?. 6. W o u l d you like to look at the books? I want you to look at Ihe books. D o you want to look at the books? Q U E S T I O N . Condition, 6 items Stimulus and response items are identical to those presented i in in A above. Practice Items Response Alternatives P3. W o u l d you like to play on the bike? I want you to play on the bike. Do you want to play on the bike? P5. W o u l d you like lo make a picture? I want you to make a picture. D o you want to make a picture? A P P E N D I X C ( c o n l . ) E X P E R I M E N T II : Discrimination Task Battery, Object Noun Phrase ( N P ) C o n d i t i o n A. R E Q U E S T C o n d i t i o n , 6 items Stimulus Items Response Alternatives 1. the train? I want you to play on the train. D o you want to play on the train? 2. the slide? 1 want you to play on the slide. D o you want to play on the slide? 3. the horse? I want you to play on the horse. D o you want to play on the horse? 4. the blocks? I want you to play with the blocks. D o you want to play with the blocks? 5. the sandtable? 1 want you to play at the sandtable. Do you want to play at the sandtable?. 6. the books? I want you to look at the books. D o you want to look at the books? Q U E S T I O N C o n d i t i o n , 6 items Stimulus and response items are identical to those presented in in A above. Practice Items Response Alternatives I>3. the bike? 1 want you to play on the bike. D o you want to play on the bike? P5. a picture? 1 want you to m3ke a picture. D o you want to make a picture? 8 6 APPENDIX D Summary of Analysis of Variance for Predicted Means, EXPERIMENT II Source SS df MS F Between-Subjects A G E QUANTITY A X Q ERROR 41.56 7.02 1.35 74.11 1 2 2 48 41.56 3.51 0.68 1.54 26.92 2.27 0.44 .0000 .11 .65 Within- Subjects CONTEXT 15.56 1 15.56 16.60 .0002 A X C 0.45 1 0.45 0.48 .49 Q X C 6.80 2 3.40 3.62 .03 A X Q X C 8.69 2 4.34 4.63 .01 ERROR 45.00 48 0.94 Total 1672.45 1 1672.45 1083.21

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