Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The present study was exploratory in nature and examined the expressive/referential distinction (Nelson, 1973) among atypical preschool children. Subjects were ten language-delayed and eight non language-delayed children attending the Child's Place, a diagnostic and treatment facility for preschoolers and their families. For each child, two samples of spontaneous language were collected within three months of one another. For each transcript, 100 consecutive utterances were selected as the data which were analysed. A classification scheme utilizing linguistic and pragmatic measures was devised to determine whether expressive or referential stylists could be identified. In addition, the question of whether any non-linguistic variables were differentially related to style, was investigated. The classification system was not successful in differentiating stylists. However, individual analyses yielded evidence for style preference in five severely language-impaired children. Results indicated pragmatic measures were not useful in the identification of stylists. Nor was a relationship between non-linguistic variables and style preference found. The question of how the expressive/referential distinction could be applied to the study of the language-impaired children were explored. Finally, suggestions for future research were offered.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1984 .H675. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 45-04, Section: B, page: 1288. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1984.