Carnegie Mellon University
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Verbal Planning Functions in Children's Speech

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journal contribution
posted on 1977-01-01, 00:00 authored by Brian MacwhinneyBrian Macwhinney, Harry Osser
This study sought to examine the role of communicative explicitness, sex, and social class upon children's utilization of a wide variety of hesitation phenomena. Speech samples were gathered from 20 British 5-year-olds under 3 conditions of elicitation. Occurrences of 13 varieties of hesitation phenomena were tabulated for each corpus and subjected to a multivariate test for equality of mean vectors for the 2 levels of sex and social class. Although there was a significant main effect for sex, there was no significant main effect for social class and only a weak interaction of sex with social class. The verbal planning functions of the several hesitation phenomena were examined by principal components analysis and interpreted in the light of textual relations. It was found that hesitations served 3 major functions: preplanning of verbalization not yet produced, coplanning of verbalization currently being articulated, and avoidance of superfluous verbalization.




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