Children's Language and Communication

Children's Language and Communication

Children's Language and Communication

Children's Language and Communication

Excerpt

In October 1977, as in each of the past eleven years, the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota convened six outstanding developmental scholars at the Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology. As in the previous symposia, these scholars were invited to present their current research, integrated within the broad perspectives in which it was conceived, as representatives of noteworthy approaches in the study of children and development. Unlike previous symposia, each of which had drawn broadly from the range of developmental problem areas, the twelfth event was comprised of contributions within a more limited area of study, that of language and communicative development. As a result, Volume 12 is the first collection of Minnesota Symposium papers that can be identified with a specific sub-area of the field.

Both the choice of this theme and the problem areas addressed by the symposium participants reflect the vigor and diversity of activity in the study of language and communicative development. Among the contributions were rather traditional approaches to psycholinguistic issues, experimental studies of children's speech, analyses of speech acts in a natural setting, and speculations on the acquistion of communicative function. It was not the purpose, nor the achievement, of the symposium to arrive at a synthesis of these different vantage points, but rather to bring together representative problems and approaches in a way that would be conducive to broad reflection on problems in the area over both the short and long term.

In the first chapter, Michael Maratsos and his colleagues Stanley Kuczaj II, Dana E. C. Fox, and Mary Anne Chalkley present a series of investigations that raise questions about the quickness and efficiency with which children . . .

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