ERIC Number: ED249786
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Differentiation and Development in Children's Event Narratives.
Hudson, Judith; Nelson, Katherine
A study of the development of children's production of two kinds of narratives, script and episodic, had as subjects 60 children aged 3, 5, and 7, with 20 children in each age group. In the experiment, 10 children in each group were asked to produce script narratives ("What happens when you do X?") for 3 events and the other 10 were asked to produce episodic narratives ("What happened one time when you did X?") for 3 events. The initial script and episodic questions were followed by nondirective probe questions. The narratives were analyzed for the number, type (act, elaboration, conditional, or description), and verb tense of propositions and the qualifiers used. A number of differences between the narrative types appeared in the data. Children predominantly used the timeless present tense in script and past tense in episodic narratives, reported more acts and fewer conditionals in script than episodic narratives, and used conditionals primarily to refer to specific moments in time. The two narrative types were distinguished also by the proportion of general and specific information produced, as a function of subject familiarity with the event in question. Children at all ages could produce coherent narratives of each type but both types became more complex with subject age. Five categories of episodic narratives were identified: single act, act list, act sequence, incident, and thematic. Script narratives were found to be more similar than episodic across age groups. (MSE)
Descriptors: Age Differences, Child Language, Discourse Analysis, Language Acquisition, Language Styles, Personal Narratives, Young Children
PRCLD, Department of Linguistics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 ($12.00 for entire volume; individual papers not available).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.
Note: In: Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, Volume 23, p50-57 Sep 1984.