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Recent studies of elementary school children's language have revealed developmental trends in the acquisition of syntax. The following discussion reviews studies of the productive oral syntax (Le., studies of syntax based on natural conversation) of children between ages 5 and 9 years, in terms of: developmental characteristics of productive oral syntax; the relationship between conservation (a measure of cognitive maturity) and productive oral syntax; and recommendations for classroom instruction. Findings from the cited studies lend strong Support to the theory that language learning is a developmental process.

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