"Can You Give Me That One?" The Comprehension, Production and Judgment of Directives in Language-Impaired Children Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1983
"Can You Give Me That One?"
 
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Article Information
Research Article   |   February 01, 1983
"Can You Give Me That One?"
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, February 1983, Vol. 48, 44-54. doi:10.1044/jshd.4801.44
History: Received July 31, 1980 , Accepted January 13, 1982
 
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, February 1983, Vol. 48, 44-54. doi:10.1044/jshd.4801.44
History: Received July 31, 1980; Accepted January 13, 1982

This research is an investigation of pragmatic abilities focusing on "requesting" in a group of 30 language-impaired children between the ages of 3 1/2 and 9 years. The subject's requesting abilities were examined in three situations: (a) operating in dyads in a role-playing situation; (b) production of requests in an experimental procedure involving handpuppets; and (c) perception of requests in that situation. Transcriptions were analyzed using a speech act model along the three dimensions of "purpose," "directness," and "surface form." The findings indicated there was a predominant usage of direct forms with only a slight increase of indirect ones in the older group. Regarding the experimental assessment, it was found that language-impaired children, although restricted in the range of linguistic devices at their disposal, appear to compensate by frequently using the structures that they have already acquired. In general, these subjects operated pragmatically at a level two years or more below chronological age (compared to the performance of the normally developing children studied by Bates, 1976) and it appeared that their ability to discriminate between requests on the basis of politeness did not reach an appreciable level until the age of 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 years.

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