Spanish diminutives in mother-child conversations

Gigliana Melzi, Kendall A. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The present study examined gender and age patterns of diminutive use in conversations between 32 Spanish-speaking Peruvian mothers and their three- and five-year-old children. Results confirm previous findings concerning both parents' greater use of diminutives with younger children and children's early acquisition of this complex aspect of morphology. However, findings do not support previous studies on gender differences in parental use of diminutives with young children. Results also revealed that mothers' and children's imitations of their interlocutors' diminutized words promoted their interlocutors' overall diminutive use. This finding highlights the acute sensitivity of both speakers to each others' language and the potential role of imitation in older children's language development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-304
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Child Language
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2003

Fingerprint

conversation
Mothers
imitation
Child Language
Language Development
Child Development
language
Language
Parents
Diminutives
speaking
gender-specific factors
parents
gender
Interlocutors
Imitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Spanish diminutives in mother-child conversations. / Melzi, Gigliana; King, Kendall A.

In: Journal of Child Language, Vol. 30, No. 2, 05.2003, p. 281-304.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Melzi, Gigliana ; King, Kendall A. / Spanish diminutives in mother-child conversations. In: Journal of Child Language. 2003 ; Vol. 30, No. 2. pp. 281-304.
@article{8b2d4691ac8945628f8808f1ebf7f3dd,
title = "Spanish diminutives in mother-child conversations",
abstract = "The present study examined gender and age patterns of diminutive use in conversations between 32 Spanish-speaking Peruvian mothers and their three- and five-year-old children. Results confirm previous findings concerning both parents' greater use of diminutives with younger children and children's early acquisition of this complex aspect of morphology. However, findings do not support previous studies on gender differences in parental use of diminutives with young children. Results also revealed that mothers' and children's imitations of their interlocutors' diminutized words promoted their interlocutors' overall diminutive use. This finding highlights the acute sensitivity of both speakers to each others' language and the potential role of imitation in older children's language development.",
author = "Gigliana Melzi and King, {Kendall A.}",
year = "2003",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1017/S0305000903005567",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "30",
pages = "281--304",
journal = "Journal of Child Language",
issn = "0305-0009",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Spanish diminutives in mother-child conversations

AU - Melzi, Gigliana

AU - King, Kendall A.

PY - 2003/5

Y1 - 2003/5

N2 - The present study examined gender and age patterns of diminutive use in conversations between 32 Spanish-speaking Peruvian mothers and their three- and five-year-old children. Results confirm previous findings concerning both parents' greater use of diminutives with younger children and children's early acquisition of this complex aspect of morphology. However, findings do not support previous studies on gender differences in parental use of diminutives with young children. Results also revealed that mothers' and children's imitations of their interlocutors' diminutized words promoted their interlocutors' overall diminutive use. This finding highlights the acute sensitivity of both speakers to each others' language and the potential role of imitation in older children's language development.

AB - The present study examined gender and age patterns of diminutive use in conversations between 32 Spanish-speaking Peruvian mothers and their three- and five-year-old children. Results confirm previous findings concerning both parents' greater use of diminutives with younger children and children's early acquisition of this complex aspect of morphology. However, findings do not support previous studies on gender differences in parental use of diminutives with young children. Results also revealed that mothers' and children's imitations of their interlocutors' diminutized words promoted their interlocutors' overall diminutive use. This finding highlights the acute sensitivity of both speakers to each others' language and the potential role of imitation in older children's language development.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0037865700&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0037865700&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/S0305000903005567

DO - 10.1017/S0305000903005567

M3 - Article

VL - 30

SP - 281

EP - 304

JO - Journal of Child Language

JF - Journal of Child Language

SN - 0305-0009

IS - 2

ER -