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There have been many studies on kinship terms In 1928 Piaget looked at childrens definitions of the terms brother and sister Danziger 1957 and Elkind 1962 replicated the study and also looked at three additional terms daughter uncle and cousin However it was not until 1974 that Haviland and Clark asked children between the ages of 3 and 8 to define 15 kinship terms These were mother father son daughter brother sister grandmother grandfather grandson granddaughter uncle aunt niece nephew and cousin What concerned Haviland and Clark was whether the differences in semantic complexity can be used to predict the order of acquisition of the kinship terms For example mother is less semantically complex than cousin Therefore according to Haviland and Clark mother would be acquired prior to cousin regardless of whether the children had experienced the particular relationship We carried out our fieldwork at San Anton School We spoke to 20 random students from four different grades five from pre-grade five from Grade 2 five from Grade 3 and five from Grade 4 These children all spoke English fluently Basically they did not have any problems understanding the questions Nevertheless it is evident that some of these random children were conscious of the camera and perhaps even shy of us as they had never met us before The Stages according to Haviland and Clark In the first stage the child has no component features and gives an extremely basic definition For example What is a brother A brother is a boy 3 years old The child may even pick up on some completely irrelevant factor such as the persons name or the job that they do We also considered Maltese translations to fall under Stage 1 for example What is a grandmother A nanna In the second stage the child describes some features of the term but not relational ones For exampleWhat is an aunt When your mother
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