Vocal sharing in children’s peer groups: when sociolinguistics meets ethology

Abstract : At various phylogenetic levels including humans, one of the consequences of social influence and learning on vocal production is the emergence of shared vocal structures between group members. Although sociolinguistics has long described social dialects within social networks in adults, developmental studies in children are notably lacking. Similarly, animal studies have considered the functions and the mechanisms of vocal sharing in adults or in adultyoung relationships, more rarely between young. Thus, we aimed to study whether peers influence the acquisition of social dialects in young children and how, by combining sociolinguistic and ethological approaches. Children from the same class in a French nursery school were observed during two periods over a year. Spontaneous conversations and social interactions among peers were recorded during free activities, using ethological methods. Children’s uses of three phonological variables known as social markers in adults were analyzed in relation to children’s social networks. We found that children’s verbal uses converged within peer group over time. The density of verbal interactions appeared as a key factor in the similarity observed in children’s verbal uses.
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Poster communications
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https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01354826
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Submitted on : Friday, August 19, 2016 - 3:50:25 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 3, 2019 - 4:12:05 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01354826, version 1

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Aurélie Nardy, Stéphanie Barbu, Jean-Pierre Chevrot. Vocal sharing in children’s peer groups: when sociolinguistics meets ethology. Behavior 2009 - 31st International Ethological Conference, Aug 2009, Rennes, France. ⟨hal-01354826⟩

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