First published in 1983, this book represents a substantial body of detailed research on children’s language and communication, and more generally on the nature of interactive spoken discourse. It looks at areas of competence often examined in young children’s speech have that have not been described for adults — leading to insights not only in the character of adult conversation but also the process of acquiring this competence. The authors set forward strategies for conversing at different stage of life, while also relating these strategies to, and formulating hypotheses concerning, the dynamics of language variation and change.
Table of Contents
General Editor’s preface; Acknowledgements; Foreword by Dell Hymes; Preface; Part I Constructing conversation; 1 Conversational competence in children E. Ochs Keenan 2 Making it last: repetition in children’s discourse E. Ochs Keenan 3 Evolving discourse — the next step E. Ochs Keenan 4 Looking and talking: the functions of gaze direction in the conversations of a young child and her mother Bambi B. Schieffelin 5 Topic as a discourse notion: a study of topic in the conversations of children and adults E. Ochs Keenan and Bambi B. Schieffelin 6 Questions of immediate concern E. Ochs Keenan, Bambi B. Schieffelin and Martha Platt; Part II Using discourse and syntax to express propositions; 7 Planned and unplanned discourse E. Ochs 8 Foregrounding referents: a reconsideration of left dislocation in discourse E. Ochs and Bambi B. Schieffelin; Part III Cross-cultural perspectives on caregiver-child communication; 9 Talking like birds: sounds play in a cultural perspective Bambi B. Schieffelin 10 Cultural dimensions of language acquisition E. Ochs; Bibliography; Author Index; Subject Index