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Imitations, repetitions, routines, and the child's analysis of language: insights from the blind*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 September 2008

Miguel Pérez-Pereira*
Affiliation:
University of Santiago
*
Departamento di Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación, Universidad de Santiago, 15705 Santiago, Spain.

Abstract

A blind child and her sighted twin sister were recorded at home once a month from 2;5 to 3;5. Their imitations, repetitions and routines (IRR speech) were analysed with respect to three dimensions (type, faithfulness to the model, and function). MLU for IRR speech was greater than that for productive utterances, which supports the idea that these productions facilitate language development. The blind girl used routines and modified imitations and repetitions more frequently than her sighted sister, and her use of modified repetitions increased during the study. She also seemed to use IRR speech for a longer period in her development. Both children frequently used these forms as a means of maintaining conversation and to fulfil their intentions. By introducing modifications (varying some element, or expanding the model) both children, especially the blind girl, analysed language and learned to use these utterances in the appropriate circumstances with a clear pragmatic function. Such behaviour is typical of holistic language processing and acquisition.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1994

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Footnotes

[*]

A former and considerably shorter version of this paper was presented at the IVth European Conference on Developmental Psychology, Stirling, 27–31 August, 1990. I wish to thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

References

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