Request retries


  • Susan Ervin-Tripp Universidad de Chile


A sample of 663 requests, orders, and other moves to control behavior was taken from videotaped home interaction of children 2 to 6 years old. These were all parts of series in which a first move was retried with the same purpose. The youngest children increased specification and aggravation on the retries, whereas the older children changed the overall tactic used on the syntactic form, with the effect of often mitigating on later tries through the use of modal auxiliaries and permission forms. Evidence from the increase in mitigation after refusals suggested that mitigation was being used for persuasion.