Verbal Information Gathering Strategies: The Child’s Use of Language to Acquire Language Recent investigations suggest that normally developing infants are active participants in a language-transmission partnership with the mature speakers in their environments. In a recent paper, (Snyder, McLean, 1977) we noted that available data suggest several specific language acquisition strategies exhibited by children in these interactions. While the earlier paper focused ... Articles
Articles  |   August 01, 1978
Verbal Information Gathering Strategies: The Child’s Use of Language to Acquire Language
 
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Article Information
Articles   |   August 01, 1978
Verbal Information Gathering Strategies: The Child’s Use of Language to Acquire Language
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, August 1978, Vol. 43, 306-325. doi:10.1044/jshd.4303.306
History: Received September 26, 1977 , Accepted February 21, 1978
 
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, August 1978, Vol. 43, 306-325. doi:10.1044/jshd.4303.306
History: Received September 26, 1977; Accepted February 21, 1978

Recent investigations suggest that normally developing infants are active participants in a language-transmission partnership with the mature speakers in their environments. In a recent paper, (Snyder, McLean, 1977) we noted that available data suggest several specific language acquisition strategies exhibited by children in these interactions. While the earlier paper focused on a set of posited nonverbal strategies, this sequel focuses on two broad types of early verbal behavior that function as effective strategies for the language-learning child. These posited verbal acquisition strategies are referred to as selective imitation and metalinguistic utterance production. The conflicting theory and data on the role of early verbal imitation are reviewed, and it is concluded that selective imitation is most functional at specific stages of the language acquisition process. A hierarchy of metalinguistic utterance types is suggested, ranging from those reflecting the highest apparent intentionality (that is, interrogative utterances) to those reflecting the least (referred to as evocative utterances). Suggestions for future research are offered and implications for language intervention are discussed.

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