I Don’t Understand What You Mean by Comprehension Current clinical approaches to the assessment of language comprehension in children are characaterized by the measurement of “receptive” knowledge of lexical items and syntactic structure. A more comprehensive approach would go beyond measuring the child’s ability to comprehend the literal meaning of sentences to include two other aspects of obtaining ... Articles
Articles  |   May 01, 1978
I Don’t Understand What You Mean by Comprehension
 
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Article Information
Articles   |   May 01, 1978
I Don’t Understand What You Mean by Comprehension
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, May 1978, Vol. 43, 208-219. doi:10.1044/jshd.4302.208
History: Received March 7, 1977 , Accepted June 27, 1977
 
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, May 1978, Vol. 43, 208-219. doi:10.1044/jshd.4302.208
History: Received March 7, 1977; Accepted June 27, 1977

Current clinical approaches to the assessment of language comprehension in children are characaterized by the measurement of “receptive” knowledge of lexical items and syntactic structure. A more comprehensive approach would go beyond measuring the child’s ability to comprehend the literal meaning of sentences to include two other aspects of obtaining information from spoken utterances: presupposition and inference and illocutionary acts. A selected review of clinical instruments measuring language comprehension that are in current use is presented, revealing-that these tests of vocabulary, basic concepts, and comprehension of syntactic structure are limited to the literal-meaning aspect of spoken messages. Tests of intelligence and reading skills for children and tests for adult aphasia include more complex comprehension items that require linguistic integration and inference. There are no tests that measure the listener’s ability to determine the speaker’s illocutionary intent. An integrated approach to the measurement of language comprehension is not available in the form of clinical tests.

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