The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of two, three, and four-year old’s to reply to sentence focused questions, argument focused questions, and predicate focused questions based on both transitive and intransitive events. The authors expected the children to respond with transitivity as well as consistency.
II. Rationale for the Study
The authors pursued this study to experiment with a controlled variable. The authors suggested that presently there were three main research studies conducted to test children 's ability to answer questions, but the experimental methods differed. As a result of these differences, the experiments could not be compared or determined to be reliable. The Matthews et al. (2006) study tested the children using a (“What happened?”) question while they were watching intransitive events. On the contrary, Salomo, Graf, Lieven, and Tomasello in both their 2010 and 2011 studies used a “What is X doing?” question for transitive events. The authors felt that it was worth studying this topic while controlling the methods to receive optimal results. Contrary to earlier studies, the authors included both intransitive and transitive events as well as three different types of questions. They used sentence-focused questions, predicate focused questions, and argument focused questions.
Fifty-four monolingual German children are selected to take part in this study. There are eighteen two-year olds, which are composed of eight boys and ten girls. There were eighteen three- year olds, which were composed of ten boys and eight girls. Lastly, there were eighteen four- year olds, which included seven boys and eleven girls.
The participants are asked an argument-focu...
... middle of paper ...
...There are language development differences that are specific to the environment. Thus, it would have been interesting to use children from countries other than Germany. Furthermore, the experimenters used fifty-four participants. These are a few participants compared to the large general population. Using more participants would make the study more valid.
This was a strong research study. The authors not only tested their original hypothesis, but when they noticed limitations in their study they conducted follow-up studies. The authors reinforced the idea that language is a result of cognitive development, but at the same time also addressed the idea that environment does play an important role in development. This study also silently addresses how important it is for clinicians to understand the stages of development to effectively treat a client.
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