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[xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ; From 2-?

David's note of a few days ago on 3-7 year old changes in egocentric speech
me of an old article by Slobin and Welch (reprinted in Ferguson and Slobin,
*Studies of Child Development, 1963)
*that it took a while to track down. The study is often cited in studies of
elicited imitation where an adult says some
sentence and asks a little kid to repeat it. Kids simplify the sentence in
normal circumstances ("Where is the kitty"
becomes "where kitty") and other such stuff. There is a pretty large
literature on this.

But when I went to find the phenomenon in the article that had most struck
me, I could not find it in the recent lit
on elicited imitation. The phenomenon seems relevant to the monologic,
dialogic etc speech discussion.

The phenomenon is this:  When a 2yr/5month old child is recorded saying  "If
you finish your eggs all up, Daddy, you
can have your coffee." they can repeat this sentence pretty much as it is
right afterward. But 10 minutes later it has
become simplified a la the usual observation.

Citing William James (the child has an "intention to say so and so") Slobin
and Welch remark:

If that linguistic form is presented for imitation while the intention is
still operative, it can be faily successfully imitated. Once the intention
is gone, however, the utterance must be processed in linguistic terms alone
-- without its original intentional and
contextual support."  In the absence of such support, the task can strain
the child's abilities and reveal a more limited competence than may actually
be present in spontaneous speech (p. 489-90).

This kind of observation seems relevant in various ways both to language
acquisition in school settings and to my reccurrent
questions about the social situation of development. Is it relevant to the
discussion of egocentric and social speech, David?
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