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Turn-Taking Behavior in Children of Low-Income Families in Taiwan and the US
This study examined turn constructional units, turn-allocation, interruption and overlaps in young children during meal table conversations. Twenty children of low income families, ten from Taiwan and ten from the US, with the mean age of 4; 6, participated in this study. Family conversations during mealtime were audio- taped and then transcribed, coded, and analyzed using the Child Language Data Exchange System. Results of this study were stated as follows: (1) Both Taiwanese and American children conversed with single-clause turns most frequently but proportions of dual-clause and multi-clause turns in American children were significantly higher than those produced by Taiwanese children. (2) Children often started turns spontaneously and both in Taiwan and American families the chances children were allocated to be the next speakers were high. (3) Frequencies of interruptions and overlaps in both Taiwanese and American meal table conversations were not high, but proportion of turns being interrupted in American children were significantly higher than those in Taiwanese children. There are differences in turn constructional units and interruption between Taiwanese and the US children. This study provided important findings of turn-taking behavior in young children across Taiwan and the US. Limitations of this study and suggestions for further studies were discussed.
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