What Are You Talking About? Semantic Analysis of Preschool Children's Conversational Topics in Home and Preschool Settings

Christine A. Marvin, David R. Beukelman, Jynell Brockhaus, Lisa Kast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explored the semantic content of the conversational topics used by 10 nondisabled preschool children at home and at preschool. The spontaneous speech of the children was tape recorded using voice-activated tape players. The children wore the recorder as they engaged in routine activities with teachers, peers, and family. The speech samples represented 2 to 2.5 hours of preschool and home activity for each child. Overall, the 10 children referred predominantly to the here and now and to themselves. The children appeared to reference past and future less frequently and fantasy more frequently at school than at home. Parents and siblings were referenced infrequently at school, while teachers were referenced infrequently at home. The most common and frequent semantic referents at home and at school were similar and referred to objects (toys and food), events (actions, play, projects), and ideas about people's traits or conditions. Implications for the development of augmentative and alternative (AAC) systems for young children are discussed relative to maximizing children's opportunities for language learning, conversation, and participation in the home and preschool settings with nondisabled peers and family members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-86
Number of pages12
JournalAugmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1994

Keywords

  • communication
  • home
  • preschool
  • school
  • topics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing

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