The Development of Conversational Behavior

  • Allen T. Dittmann
Part of the The Downstate Series of Research in Psychiatry and Psychology book series (DSRPP, volume 1)


This paper begins by describing a phenomenon discovered in the laboratory some years ago, outlines some of the reasoning advanced to explain it, reports an extensive follow-up designed to test some of that reasoning, then gives some rather speculative conclusions based on the whole mass of data and the ideas that have been stirred up by it. Briefly, the phenomenon is that young children behave differently in conversations than older children and adults do; the thinking about this has included linguistic, cognitive, and social issues in the development of children at along about the beginning of adolescence.


Mixed Group Conversational Group Instructional Situation Listener Response Conversational Behavior 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Boomer, D. S. Hesitation and grammatical encoding. Language and Speech, 1965, 8, 148–158.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Boomer, D. S., & Laver, J. D. M. Slips of the tongue. British Journal of Disorders of Communication, 1968, 3, 2–12.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dittmann, A. T. Developmental factors in conversational behavior. Journal of Communication, 1972, 22, 404–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dittmann, A. T., & Llewellyn, L. G. The phonemic clause as a unit of speech decoding. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1967, 6, 341–349.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dittmann, A. T., & Llewellyn, L. G. Relationship between vocalizations and head nods as listener responses. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1968, 9, 79–84.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Mead, G. H. Mind, self, and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1934.Google Scholar
  7. Piaget, J. The language and thought of the child, (M. Gabain, Transl.) London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1926.Google Scholar
  8. Sullivan, H. S. The psychiatric interview. H. S. Perry & H. L. Gawell (Eds.). New York: Norton, 1954.Google Scholar
  9. Trager, G. L. & Smith, H. L., Jr. An outline of English structure. (Studies in Linguistics: Occasional Papers, 3) Norman, Oklahoma: Battenberg Press, 1951. (Republished by American Council of Learned Societies, New York, 1965.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allen T. Dittmann
    • 1
  1. 1.U. S. Office of EducationUSA

Personalised recommendations