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Functional analysis of the communication between the young child and his father or mother when reading an illustrated book

  • Štefan Bartanusz
  • Lenka Šulová
Article

Abstract

Our research is concerned with the observation of communication between the child and his parents (mother-baby vs. father-baby). The children are aged from 30 to 36 months old. Communication was analysed according to utterances functions and social aims. 14 French children, 7 boys and 7 girls were filmed with each of their two parents in their home environment. 5 minutes of verbal interactions were entirely rewritten and analysed according to categories adapted from the speech acts theory. The results indicate that mothers generate more expressive utterances and fathers more commissive ones. Mothers also tend to ask more information requests. The children generate more assertive utterances with the mothers and are more directive with the fathers. Concerning parental feedback functions (approval, reformulation, clarification requests), there is no significant difference between mothers and fathers. These results are being discussed from a pragmatic and differential point of view.

Key words

Children Father Interaction Mother Speech act 

Résumé

Notre recherche vise l’observation de la communication entre l’enfant et ses parents (mère-bébé versus père-bébé). L’âge des enfants se situe entre 30 et 36 mois. La communication a été analysée selon les fonctions et les buts sociaux des énoncés. 14 enfants français, 7 garçons et 7 filles, ont été filmés avec chacun des deux parents et dans le cadre du domicile familial. 5 minutes d’interactions verbales ont été entièrement retranscrites et analysées selon les catégories adaptées de la théorie des actes du langage. Les résultats indiquent que les mères produisent plus d’énoncés expressifs et les pères davantage de demandes d’action. Les mères ont également tendance à poser plus de requêtes d’information. Les enfants formulent plus d’énoncés assertifs avec les mères et sont davantage directifs avec les pères. En plus, ils ont tendance à être plus expressifs avec leurs pères. Concernant les fonctions de feedback parental (approbations, reformulations, requêtes en clarification), il n’y a pas vraiment de différence significative entre les mères et les pères. Ces résultats sont discutés du point de vue pragmatique et différentiel.

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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisbon, Portugal/ Springer Netherlands 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Štefan Bartanusz
    • 1
  • Lenka Šulová
    • 2
  1. 1.Personalisation and social changes at the University of Toulouse II-Le MirailToulouse Cedex 9France
  2. 2.Department of Social PsychologyCharles University in PraguePrahaCzech Republic

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