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Development of Pragmatic and Discourse Skills in Chinese-Speaking Children

image of Development of Pragmatic and Discourse Skills in Chinese-Speaking Children

For many years, studies of the development of pragmatic and discourse skills in young children have predominantly focused on English and other European languages, as with the field of child language development in general. This volume, originally published in <i>Chinese Language and Discourse</i> 3:1 (2012), brings together a team of researchers from China, the UK, USA, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. It explores the development of pragmatic and discourse skills among Chinese-speaking children by investigating the development of pragmatic features specific to the Chinese language and culture (i.e. the use of null forms and overt forms in self/other reference and time expressions), socio-cultural factors in child-directed speech and comprehension of semiotic resources in children’s early childhood. The studies reported in the volume draw upon data of different kinds including recorded spontaneous speech, corpus, questionnaires and experimental data. The findings not only highlight a number of developmental patterns which may be attributed to the Chinese language(s) and culture, but also contribute to the understanding of some key issues in the development of pragmatic and discourse skills irrespective of linguistic backgrounds.

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