Responses of Language-Disordered Children to Wh-Questions Nineteen language-disordered children aged 3—7 years responded to items representing nine wh-question forms. Questions referred to three types of referential sources based on immediacy and visual availability. Three and 4-year-olds produced significantly fewer functionally appropriate and functionally accurate answers than did the 5- and 6-year-olds. Generally, questions asked with reference ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1986
Responses of Language-Disordered Children to Wh-Questions
 
Author Notes
  • Martha M. Parnell is an assistant professor in the Program in Communicative Disorders, University of Missouri-Columbia, 125 Parker Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. Requests for reprints may be sent to her at this address. James D. Amerman is a professor in the Program in Communicative Disorders, University of Missouri-Columbia, 125 Parker Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. Roger D. Harting is the Director of the School of Health Related Professions, University of Missouri-Columbia, 200 clark Hall, Columbia, MO 65211.
    Martha M. Parnell is an assistant professor in the Program in Communicative Disorders, University of Missouri-Columbia, 125 Parker Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. Requests for reprints may be sent to her at this address. James D. Amerman is a professor in the Program in Communicative Disorders, University of Missouri-Columbia, 125 Parker Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. Roger D. Harting is the Director of the School of Health Related Professions, University of Missouri-Columbia, 200 clark Hall, Columbia, MO 65211.×
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1986
Responses of Language-Disordered Children to Wh-Questions
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 1986, Vol. 17, 95-106. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.1702.95
History: Received July 22, 1984 , Accepted February 28, 1985
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 1986, Vol. 17, 95-106. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.1702.95
History: Received July 22, 1984; Accepted February 28, 1985

Nineteen language-disordered children aged 3—7 years responded to items representing nine wh-question forms. Questions referred to three types of referential sources based on immediacy and visual availability. Three and 4-year-olds produced significantly fewer functionally appropriate and functionally accurate answers than did the 5- and 6-year-olds. Generally, questions asked with reference to nonobservable persons, actions, or objects appeared the most difficult. Why, when, and what happened questions were the most difficult of the nine wh-forms. In comparison with previous data from normal children, the language-disordered subjects' responses were significantly less appropriate and accurate. The language-disordered children also appeared particularly vulnerable to the increased cognitive/linguistic demands of questioning directed toward nonimmediate referents. A hierarchy of wh-question forms by relative difficulty was very similar to that observed for normal children. Implications for wh-question assessment and intervention are discussed.

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