ERIC Number: ED186128
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Children's Production and Evaluation of Referring Expressions in Written Narratives.
Bartlett, Elsa Jaffe
This study explores how children indicate that a new character or object is being introduced into a written text and how they tell their readers that a particular word refers to something which has appeared in the text before. In particular, the study focuses on information represented by noun phrases in written narrative texts. To investigate how some children produced referential ambiguities in such texts while others did not, 32 fourth graders, who were rated as either above or below average in writing ability and all of whom read at grade level, wrote two stories and participated in a short ambiguity detection and editing task. Stories were elicited under simple context and complex context conditions. Context effects were observed for the below-average writers. No statistically significant differences between above- and below-average writers were found on the editing task. Additionally, while no differences were found in the distribution of linguistic devices in the two groups, children were found to structure their stories differently. Above-average writers produced more than three times as many references to grouped characters as did below-average writers. Results suggest that skilled and unskilled writers differed in their strategies for constructing narrative texts. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Referents (Linguistics)
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979).