Bohannon Corpus

John Neil Bohannon III
Department of Psychology
Butler University


Participants: 2
Type of Study: naturalistic
Location: USA
Media type: no longer available
DOI: doi:10.21415/T5DS3V

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Project Description

These transcripts show the interaction of different adults with one of two children, Nat and Baxter. There were 17 adults interacting with Nat and 10 interacting with Baxter. The adults include 15 undergraduates, 5 graduates and the participant’s mother. The data were collected in 1976.


Twelve undergraduates and five graduate students participated in the experiment. Nat was 2;8 (MLU = 3.59 morphemes) when he interacted with the undergraduates. He was 3;0 (MLU = 3.73 morphemes) when he interacted with the graduate students. Nat was the son of a college professor and a college graduate and probably verbally precocious. No information is available about Baxter.


Students were given minimal instructions concerning the experiment. They were simply told to converse with the child and to try to draw him into conversation. The undergraduate students were sent to Nat’s home in six teams of two students and one team of three students. The students visiting Baxter’s home went singly. During each interaction, the noninteracting team members took contextual notes while the other team member interacted. The mother was present during all interactions, as was an experimental assistant who ran the tape recorder. All interactions were recorded on Realistic Super Tape by means of a Realistic CTR-29 cassette deck. During the interaction several play materials (i.e. blocks, stuffed animals, and books around the house) were made available for assisting conversations. The average interaction lasted about 15 minutes, with one group of undergraduate students going a full hour. Nat’s mother and the authors checked the transcriptions against the tapes for accuracy.