The Development of Speech Acts

A number of researchers have focused on identifying and classifying the functions of early language, investigating the development of illocutionary intent and its relation to locutionary acts, and several systems have been developed. Children less than age 2 use language to fulfill a number of different functions, including getting people to do things, regulating their own or other's behavior, for social interaction, and as part of their imaginative play. By the time children are 3 years old, new functions emerge, including the use of language to describe objects or events and to assert an opinion, and also a range of conversational devices. At this point, children are also able to express each of these functions using a variety of different syntactic forms.

There is a more protracted period of development for indirect forms, such as indirect requests. Although 2-year-olds use terms such as ''want''or "need" as a way of asking for something (e.g., ''Ineed new ball"), genuine indirect requests do not emerge until approximately age 3 (e.g., ''Where is the truck?"'). By age 4, children can use polite forms, including modal verbs to make their request (e.g., ''Would you give me a cookie?''), but hints or oblique indirect requests are not used until the early school years. Children aged 2 do not discriminate between requests for action and requests for information; however, throughout the preschool and early school years children gradually become able to understand increasingly more oblique levels of indirect speech acts.

Breaking Bulimia

Breaking Bulimia

We have all been there: turning to the refrigerator if feeling lonely or bored or indulging in seconds or thirds if strained. But if you suffer from bulimia, the from time to time urge to overeat is more like an obsession.

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