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Speech ability of children in the age of four to six years

, : Speech ability of children in the age of four to six years. Sbornik Lekarsky 87(8-9): 247-256

We have observed the speech performance of 64 children, 33 boys and 31 girls, in the age of 4 to 6 years. The children were divided in four groups, each of these being six months older than the preceding one. The results show that in the lowest group (from 4.1 to 4.5 years), the girls speech production is bigger, while the very opposite is found in the groups of higher age. Evidently, the bigger extrovertibility of boys results in bigger speech production, though not in richer contents of communication. There is no difference between the frequency of particular species of words used by boys, or by girls, or by the observed groups. However, we have found differences in the frequency of nouns, adjectives, and pronouns in comparison with their occurrence in the literature for children and in Czech language in general. Lower frequency of nouns is explained as the result of general insufficiency of vocabulary: nouns are, in speech, substituted by pronouns, the occurrence of which thus becomes more frequent. Minor reserve and use of adjectives, on the other hand, is supposed to be due to the fact that for grasping their meaning and for keeping them in memory is needed stronger emotional experience which does not occur very often in this age. Another factor that may be of importance here is, probably, the incapability to combine abstract ideas expressed by means of adjectives with the concrete meaning of a noun. Children of this age are not yet able to master this kind of operation in which the abstraction is involved. For the distribution of the other species of words which is regular, the author gives explanation based on the fact that the information is bound on predetermined CNS structures so that the most convenient communication of the individual may be achieved.

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