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Mothers', fathers', and siblings' responses to children's language errors: comparing sources of negative evidence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 June 1999

CHEHALIS M. STRAPP
Affiliation:
Western Oregon University

Abstract

Despite previous work showing that mothers, fathers, and siblings provide negative evidence regarding children's grammatical errors, the role of linguistic input remains controversial. Since most work in this area has concentrated on negative evidence in the mother–child dyad, this study extended prior work by comparing mothers', fathers' and siblings' corrective repetitions to children's errors across different family settings. Fourteen children (2;3) were videotaped interacting with their mothers, fathers, and siblings (4;1) in dyad, triad, and tetrad settings. Analyses revealed that mothers and fathers provided more corrective repetitions than siblings did. Although the size of the setting did not differentiate responding, when specific configurations were examined differences emerged. Analyses of individual families revealed that all children received feedback following syntax errors. These results are discussed in terms of current negative evidence research.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1999 Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

The research reported in this article was conducted as part of a doctoral dissertation submitted to the University of Nevada, Reno. Portions of this paper were presented at the Western Psychological Association Conference, Seattle, WA, April 1997. I would like to thank William Wallace for invaluable insight and support throughout this project. I would also like to thank Gerald Ginsburg, Ann Tyler, Judith Sugar, and Patrick Ghezzi for their advice and comments on ideas expressed here. Amy Federico also provided valuable feedback on revision of this article. I gratefully acknowledge the families who participated in this study.
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