Chapter published in:Intersubjectivity in Action: Studies in language and social interaction
Edited by Jan Lindström, Ritva Laury, Anssi Peräkylä and Marja-Leena Sorjonen
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 326] 2021
► pp. 349–371
Learning to request in interaction
Intersubjective development of children’s requesting between one and five years
This study examines intersubjective development of children’s requests in home interactions of Finnish-speaking 1–5-year-old children with their caregivers, siblings and peers. Children’s early requests emerge sequentially through the caregivers’ co-construction of the children’s early vocalizations, word-gesture combinations and two-word utterances. Children’s first linguistically explicit requests, imperatives, also rely on intersubjective understanding between the child and the caregiver. Children start to use conditional verb forms and interrogatives as social adaptations for making requests to equal peers. Between one and five years, children’s requesting develops from embodied, co-constructed action to distinct linguistic formulations. Caregiver interaction supports the children’s reliance on co-participants’ co-operation in fulfilling requests whereas peer interaction enhances children’s intersubjective understanding of co-participants’ varying commitment and entitlement to grant the request.
Keywords: children, co-construction, development, request, conditional, imperative
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