This book provides new insight into the development of the child's ability to become a competent participant in conversation. The author combines a pragmatic analysis of the functions language can perform with an innovative and extensive empirical investigation of the development of young children's language use and sociocognitive skills. She gives a detailed description of the development of children's language between the ages of three-and-a-half and seven, broadens the scope of theorizing about language development by placing it in relation to the development of social understanding, and provides a new framework for understanding speech problems and designing ways to solve them. It is the first study to find a strong link between language, sociocognitive development, and social development. It will be welcomed by child language specialists, developmental and social psychologists, conversation and discourse analysts, and their advanced students.
"...does succeed in pointing toward important dimensions for future research." Catherine Garvey, Contemporary Psychology