When children ask, "What is it?" what do they want to know about artifacts?

@article{Nelson2004WhenCA,
  title={When children ask, "What is it?" what do they want to know about artifacts?},
  author={Deborah G Kemler Nelson and Louisa Chan Egan and Morghan B Holt},
  journal={Psychological science},
  year={2004},
  volume={15 6},
  pages={
          384-9
        }
}
When children ask, "What is it?" are they seeking information about what something is called or what kind of thing it is? To find out, we gave 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds (32 at each age) the opportunity to inquire about unfamiliar artifacts. An ambiguous question was answered with a name or with functional information, depending on the group to which the children were assigned. Children were inclined to follow up with additional questions about the object when they had been told its name, but… CONTINUE READING
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