Language Development during the Adolescent Years: Aspects of Pragmatics, Syntax, and Semantics

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Aspects of language that develop during the adolescent years are discussed in the domains of pragmatics, syntax, and semantics. Selected topics include complex conversational behaviors that adolescent boys and girls employ with peers versus parents; syntactic attainments associated with persuasive writing, one of the most difficult forms of written expression; and the understanding of proverbs, figurative expressions that place significant processing demands on the listener or reader. Developmental studies that have addressed each topic are reviewed, and implications for instruction are offered for speech-language pathologists who work with adolescents having language difficulties.

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