|Budget Amount *help
¥3,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥3,000,000)
Fiscal Year 2000 : ¥800,000 (Direct Cost : ¥800,000)
Fiscal Year 1999 : ¥1,100,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,100,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥1,100,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,100,000)
The objective of this study was to analyze longitudinally the development of discourse ability in Japanese toddlers. Toddlers, who begin to speak, would also begin to acquire discourse ability through the communication with surrounding adults (mainly parents) in each socio-cultural setting. If so, we should begin with the following research questions : What kind of topics do toddlers and surrounding adults talk about in everyday life in a specific socio-cultural setting? and what factors contribute to choose and maintain each topic?
Seven Japanese toddlers (1 girl and 6 boys) who attended daycare center participated in this study. Subjects' utterances with parents were audiorecorded every three months from 24 to 42 months. In each session, when they went back home from the daycare, mothers dressed their children in T-shirt with a pocket on its back, and a small microcassette recorder was in it. Totally about 200 minutes of the conversation between children and their parents were, therefore, recorded in each child and each session. All data were transcribed by using JCHAT format (Oshima-Takane ＆ MacWhinney, 1995). All utterances were divided into clusters of topics : Sequences of utterances in which the child and parents talked about one topic were categorized into one topic cluster : here and now. past event. future event. mixture of them. factual. will. third person, real to fantasy, pretend play, other play, book reading, song, educative, About 60% of their total utterances were here and now and will, in which each topic ended up very shortly. On the other hand, the topics about play, which were about 10-30% of their total utterances. continued longer. Either children or mothers began the new topics, so both parents and children, not simple parents' initiative, equally contribute the selection and maintenance of topics.