Repeating patterns: learning through repetition

Deliberately teaching a child how to speak its language correctly is of no use - any parent will assert that. You may say a hundred times that it is "liep" but still the beloved son, daughter, niece or nephew in question will persist on saying "loopte" until a certain point in the process of language acquisition. Nevertheless, a child does learn from imitating and repeating the people around it. But what exactly does it learn through this process and how?
In order to study this process of repetition and imitation we could compare the utterances of child and adult to find out which differences and similarities they show and to which extend two utterances are similar. The files below show a first step in this kind of analysis. The first file (mar30006.cha) is an ordinary file from CHILDES. The others contain the output when the Chip-command from the CLAN program is used on the file. Chip is a program that compares the utterances of the child and another participant. In our example there four other participants besides the child: father, Emma and two investigators. So there are four Chip-analyses (self-repetition of the child may also be interesting and is already calculated in the given outputs).

Chip adds four new tiers to the conversation:
%chi: analysis of the reaction/respons of the child at the adult's utterance
%adu: analysis of the reaction/respons of the adult at the child's utterance
%csr: analysis of the self-repetition of the child
%asr: analysis of the self-repetition of the adult
These tiers contain codes for several types of comparisons. More about the tiers and the codes can be found in the CLAN-manual on the CLAN site, p.53 and further.

Find out what the following codes stand for and fill in your answer in the respective fields (repeat them literally from the manual).


Take a look at the files below and see whether you can discover interesting patterns. Tip: if you just want to look at the utterances and the participant its utterances are compared, use the 'Participant filter'.
For example, how many times does the child repeat investigator 1?

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Show chi data?
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Show asr data?