|dc.contributor.advisor||Sharratt, Pamela Arlette.||
|dc.creator||Flint-Taylor, Jill Verena.||
|dc.description||Thesis (M.Soc.Sc.)-University of Natal, Durban, 1984||en
|dc.description.abstract||It is proposed that young children who already have
some degree of linguistic ability will use various
verbal information-gathering strategies to enhance
that ability. Specifically, it is suggested that
such children formulate hypotheses about the meanings
of words and that they use language in various
ways to elicit feedback from others as to the
accuracy of these hypotheses.
A selective review of the literature on cognitive
and language development provided a theoretical
framework within which to pose this problem and from
which guidelines for data analysis could be drawn.
The aim of the study was to identify the use of
various verbal information-gathering strategies in
individual children. This was done by recording
sequences of interactions involving individual
children and various others and then examining the
transcripts of these recordings for regularities
which suggested the use of such strategies.
Verbal information-gathering strategies were thus
initially identified by noting regularities amongst
those interactions where a child appeared to be
seeking information about language. Four such
strategies were found to be used by all three
children who participated in the study. Other
strategies were found to be specific to one individual
or to two of the children who were siblings.
Once these strategies were identified, the data was
analyzed for individual instances of each strategy.
Discussion of the use of these strategies includes
consideration of the role of questions, selective
imitation, naming or stating and metaphor in language
development. The relationships among concept
formation, memory and language development are also
briefly explored. Further support for the view of
the young child as testing hypotheses about word
meanings came from the observation that two of the
children showed a definite preoccupation with the
meanings of certain words on various occasions
throughout the study.
While the findings of the study show that these
three children did use various verbal information gathering
strategies, it remains to be shown how
important such strategies are for language development
and what roles may be played by different
|dc.title||An Investigation into the use of information-gathering strategies in the acquisition of language.||en