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The prompt hypothesis: clarification requests as corrective input for grammatical errors

Saxton, M., Houston-Price, C. and Dawson, N. (2005) The prompt hypothesis: clarification requests as corrective input for grammatical errors. Applied Psycholinguistics, 26 (3). pp. 393-414. ISSN 1469-1817

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1017/S0142716405050228

Abstract/Summary

The potential of clarification questions (CQs) to act as a form of corrective input for young children's grammatical errors was examined. Corrective responses were operationalized as those occasions when child speech shifted from erroneous to correct (E -> C) contingent on a clarification question. It was predicted that E -> C sequences would prevail over shifts in the opposite direction (C -> E), as can occur in the case of nonerror-contingent CQs. This prediction was tested via a standard intervention paradigm, whereby every 60s a sequence of two clarification requests (either specific or general) was introduced into conversation with a total of 45 2- and 4-year-old children. For 10 categories of grammatical structure, E -> C sequences predominated over their C -> E counterparts, with levels of E -> C shifts increasing after two clarification questions. Children were also more reluctant to repeat erroneous forms than their correct counterparts, following the intervention of CQs. The findings provide support for Saxton's prompt hypothesis, which predicts that error-contingent CQs bear the potential to cue recall of previously acquired grammatical forms.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Development
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:13878
Uncontrolled Keywords:LANGUAGE-IMPAIRED CHILDREN, CONVERSATIONAL REPAIR STRATEGIES, COMPREHENSION MONITORING SKILLS, MATERNAL QUESTION-ASKING, MENTAL-RETARDATION, REVISION BEHAVIORS, NEGATIVE EVIDENCE, DISORDERED CHILDREN, PRESCHOOL-CHILDREN, TYPICAL LANGUAGE
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

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