Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 February 2009
Young children's skilfulness in conversational interaction is of great importance in understanding pragmatic aspects of language development. The purpose of this investigation was to describe the portion of preschool verbal interaction which could not be considered successful dialogue. Ten dyads of four-year-olds were videotaped during free play. Segments of talk were identified as dialogue or non-dialogue. Non-dialogue was coded when one child did not appear to direct his/her utterances to the other or when an attempted topic failed to capture the interest of the other child. Thirteen types of non-dialogue were identified. Results revealed that all dyads exhibited non-dialogue, but differences were noted in regard to amount and type. Dyads labelled as less co-operative displayed greater amounts of self-directed talk (monologue).
An earlier version of this article was presented in a paper entitled ‘Non-dialogue talk in preschool interaction’ at the meeting of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in New Orleans, LA, November, 1987.