Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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This article presents and discusses empirical findings concerning the differences between fathers and mothers as to the language they use in the communication with their children. On the basis of the findings of other research two general expectations were formulated: fathers make higher demands upon their children and therefore adjust less to the language needs of the children than mothers do. For mothers it is the other way around.Data were collected from four fathers and mothers and their child at their homes in two situations: one with a picture book and one in an unstructured play situation with standardized playing materials. The language input - per situation at least 20 minutes were tape-recorded - was analysed as to form and content.The results indicate that there are no significant differences in the kind of language addressed to the child by its father and mother. These findings are interpreted with reference to our modern society, in which generally speaking fathers are more involved in educating their children than in former times.Finally it is proposed to replicate this study with a larger sample and with social class as a variable, in order to ascertain whether social class affects parents' language input.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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