Journal of child language
We examined children's use of apology terms in parent-child discourse. Longitudinal data from 9 children (5 males, 4 females) between the ages of 1;2 and 6;1 were analysed. Before 2;0, the use of apology terms was rare. ⋯ With age children's apologies also became more elaborate. Children were exposed to apology terms primarily through apologies directed to them and, to a lesser degree, in talk about apologies. Our study documents young children's early mastery of an important pragmatic skill and identifies parents' role in its acquisition.