First Advisor

Robert L. Casteel

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech: Emphasis in Speech Pathology/Audiology


Speech and Hearing Sciences




Children -- Language -- Testing, English language -- Prepositions, Verbal learning



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 60 pages)


The present study was designed to determine the ages at which a sample of children between eighteen and forty-two months verbally and correctly express the fourteen prepositions known to be acquired by age four, using the Revised Expressive Preposition Test (REPT). The REPT was administered to sixty children chosen from day care centers and private homes within the metropolitan area of Portland, Oregon. Therewas no preference as to the sex, intelligence of the child or socio- economic status of the child's family. A statistical analysis was performed to determine the correlation between HEPT scores and the child's chronological age, mental age and the socioeconomic status of the child's family.

Results show that expressive prepositions tend to be acquired at different age levels. Each age group tended to use a progressively greater number of the prepositions. None of the eighteen month olds used any of the prepositions. Only one-fourth of the twenty-four month olds used any of the prepositions. Half or more of the thirty month olds expressed the prepositions "under," "on," "in" and "up." Half or more of the thirty-six month olds expressed the prepositions "out of," "at," "in" and "up," but not "under" and "on." Half or more of the forty-two month olds expressed the prepositions "to, II, "out of," "under," "around," "at," "of," "with" and "up." One hundred per cent of the forty-two month olds also used the prepositions "in" and "on." The prepositions which were never expressed by 50 per cent of any of the children were "behind," "across," "off" and "by."

A statistical analysis of the data revealed a moderate correlation between the children's REPT scores and their chronological ages (.68). Correlation coefficients indicated a high correlation between the children's REFT scores and their combined chronological and mental ages (.82). The children's SES scores did not correlate with REPT scores (1 per cent) when considered together with chronological and mental ages.


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