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Title:Means to an end: Strategies in childhood directive comprehension
Author(s):Liebling, Cheryl Rappaport
Subject(s):pragmatic competence
comprehension of directives
reciprocity, reflexivity, reasoning
Abstract:This report examines the development of pragmatic competence during the elementary school years. It presents findings of an quasi-experimental study that contrasted first-, third-, and fifth-grade students' comprehension of directives varying in degree of explicitness. The directives were embedded within written and picture book narratives. The children read the written stories and listened to the picture book stories prior to answering questions related to pragmatic relations expressed in the texts. Significant findings indicate that alternative directive processing strategies evolve as children gain experience in varying language choice in different social settings. These strategies, reciprocity, reflexivity, and reasoning, reflect a gradual shift in children's thinking from reliance on situational context to consideration of the relationship of form, function, and context in comprehension. A reasoning processing strategy emerges as children develop a cognitive model of pragmatic relations in conversation. Utilization of such a model appears to be important especially in comprehending inexplicit directives embedded within written narratives.
Issue Date:1985-09
Publisher:Champaign, Ill. : University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Center for the Study of Reading.
Cambridge, Mass. : Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc.
Series/Report:Center for the Study of Reading Technical Report ; no. 341
Genre:Technical Report
Rights Information:Copyright 1985 Board of Trustees University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-05-30
Identifier in Online Catalog:5305235
OCLC Identifier:18478083

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