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|Other Titles:||Chinese Children's Acquisition of the Promissory Speech Act|
Department of English, NTNU
The present study aims to investigate Chinese-speaking children's acquisition of the speech act of “promising” by examining four factors which affect their judgment of others' promises and production of their own promises: the promisee's social status, the outcome condition of the promise, the promiser's sincerity, and the explicitness of “the promise.” Two comprehension tasks and one production task were given to a total of one hundred subjects. The subjects were divided into five groups of twenty: four experimental groups (consisting of children aged 6 to 9) and one adult group. The results showed that the younger subjects were not sensitive to the social status of the promisee. In terms of the role played by sincerity in the judging of promises, it was found that a promiser's perceived sincerity had no effect whatsoever on the participants' judgment of the promise, indicating that an apparently insincere promise was still considered to be a promise by all groups. It was also found that a promise which explicitly stated a future act was more likely to be considered an effective promise by all the participants. Finally, the results of the production task showed that Chinese-speaking children were capable of making a commitment at the age of six, and that the promissory strategy most frequently adopted by all groups was to state the future act explicitly.
|Appears in Collections:||同心圓：語言學研究|
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