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Frequency, Form, and Distribution of Illocutionary Speech Acts in Swedish Parent-Child Interaction
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this study, young children’s development of speech acts was examined. Interaction between six Swedish-speaking parents and their children was observed. The frequency, form and distribution of speech acts in the output from the parents were compared with the frequency, form and distribution of the children’s speech acts. The frequency was measured by occurrences per analysed session. The aim of the analysis was to examine if the parent’s behaviour could be treated as a baseline for the child’s development. Both the parents’ and the children’s illocutionary speech acts were classified. Each parent-child dyad was observed at four different occasions, when the children were 1;0, 1;6, 2;0, and 2;6 years of age. Similar studies have previously shown that parents keep a consistent frequency of speech acts within a given time span of interaction, though the distribution of different types of speech acts may shift, depending on contextual factors. The form, in terms of Mean Length of Speech Act in Words (MLSAw), were correlated with the longitudinal result of the children’s MLSAw. The distribution of the parents’ speech acts showed extensive individual differences. The result showed that the children’s MLSAw move significantly closer the MLSAw of their parents. Since the parent’s MLSAw showed a wide distribution, these results indicate that the parent’s speech acts can be treated as a baseline for certain aspects of the children’s development, though further studies are needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 30 p.
Keyword [en]
Illocutionary speech acts, parent-child interaction, first language acquisition, pragmatic development
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131459OAI: diva2:939862
Available from: 2016-06-21 Created: 2016-06-20 Last updated: 2016-06-21Bibliographically approved

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Pagmar, David
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