Nonpresent and Fantasy Talk at Ages 20 and 32 Months

Given our view of traditional measures of child language (e.g., MLU) as an incomplete reflection of children's developing communicative skills, we also examined children's expression of communicative intent. Parent-child talk at child ages 20 and 32 months was segmented into communicative acts, and each act was coded using the Inventory of Communicative Acts-Abridged (INCA-A), a shortened and modified version of the system developed by Ninio and Wheeler (1984) for coding the dyadic interaction of mothers and young children (see Ninio, Snow, Pan, & Rollins, 1994, and Snow, Pan, Imbens-Bailey, & Herman, 1996, for fuller discussions of the coding scheme). In this system, communicative intent is identified and coded at two different levels. The first is the level of interpersonally implicitly agreed-upon social interchange constructed across one or more rounds of talk. In the present study, social interchange categories of interest include discussions of nonpresent people and objects; discussions of nonobservable thoughts, feelings, likes and dislikes; discussions of

TABLE 10.1 Summary Statistics for the Sample (n = 32)

Mean (SD) Range

Measures of morphosyntax (32 months)

TABLE 10.1 Summary Statistics for the Sample (n = 32)

Mean (SD) Range

Measures of morphosyntax (32 months)

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