Facoltà di scienze della comunicazione

Functions of “why” questions asked by children in family conversations

Bova, Antonio

In: Procedia: social and behavioral sciences, 2011, vol. 30, p. 776-782

This study focuses on children's speech and, more particularly, analyzes the functions of children's “why” questions asked during family conversations at home. Within a data corpus composed of video recordings of family dinnertime interactions, sequences in which children ask “why” questions during family conversations are presented and qualitatively analyzed. The results show the... Plus

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    Summary
    This study focuses on children's speech and, more particularly, analyzes the functions of children's “why” questions asked during family conversations at home. Within a data corpus composed of video recordings of family dinnertime interactions, sequences in which children ask “why” questions during family conversations are presented and qualitatively analyzed. The results show the presence of two fundamental functions of children's “why” questions: argumentative and explanatory. In addition, the cases observed highlight the specific use of children's “why” questions as a way to request the burden of proof by assuming a waiting position before accepting or putting in doubt the parental prescriptions.