The development of a framework for assessing developing conversational skills.
A framework for investigating the development of conversational skills in children, comprising the areas of topic control, repair of communication breakdown and linguistic cohesion, was devised. This was undertaken by a process of collating information from some existing pragmatic profiles and the developmental literature. The framework was then modified inductively to accommodate features of the data obtained from 12 normally developing English-speaking children in the age groups three, four and five years. A number of age-related trends emerged that were supported by the developmental literature. This study emphasizes the need for the development of more refined pragmatic assessment procedures which will aid the collection of normative data presently lacking.