The speech which parents and peers direct to toddlers was examined for differences as a function of sex of parent, parent/peer status, sex of child, and age of child. Mothers, fathers, and peers of 18 parent dyads were individually audio- and videotaped in a natural play setting with their children (9 boys and 9 girls) when the children were 2 years (parents only) and 2 1/2 years (both parents and peers). Ten language measures were coded from the transcribed speech samples: mean length of utterance, type-token ratio, number of utterances, number of turns, rate of questioning, rate of answering, rate of directives, rate of attentionals, rate of polite directives, and rate of repetitions. Analyses of variance on these dependent measures produced significant main effects for parents/peer status for number of utterances, number of turns, mean length of utterance, answers, and polite directives; however, no main effects for sex of child, age of child, and sex of parent were produced.
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