Edited by F. Nihan Ketrez, Aylin C. Küntay, Şeyda Özçalışkan and Aslı Özyürek
[Trends in Language Acquisition Research 21] 2017
► pp. 85–98
Chapter 6. Preschoolers’ use of questions in their joint decisions with peers
This paper investigates how preschoolers use questions to invite their peers’ input for their joint decisions. Three- and 5-year-old peer dyads were asked to build a zoo and jointly decide on where to place each item. Both age groups used wh-questions predominantly with inanimate subjects, eliciting objective information (Where does this go?) and yes/no questions with animate subjects, eliciting subjective information (Do you want to put it here?). Five-year-olds used more animate subjects in their wh-questions than did 3-year-olds (Where do we place this?). Thus, preschool children phrase questions differently depending on whether they look for subjective or objective input from their peers. In later preschool years, they use both kinds of questions more flexibly to mark cooperative decision-making.