Revision behaviours in the speech of language-disordered children were investigated. Subjects were 12 children, four at each of Brown's language Stages I, II, and III. During the taping of a one-hour spontaneous language sample from each child, one of the experimenters pretended 20 times not to understand and asked 'What?'. The relationship between the child's original utterance and his response to 'What?' was analyzed. The results indicated a significantly greater use of revisions than repetitions or no responses at each stage and a pattern of revision behaviour that was uniform across stages and qualitatively different from the previously reported patterns of normal children. The results are discussed in terms of the nature of language disorder and its implications for pragmatic theories of language.
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