ERIC Number: ED312893
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Development of Metanarrative Speech and Gesture in Children's Storytelling.
This study examined interaction between non-referential gesture and discourse-structuring linguistic devices in the development of metanarrative ability. Specifically, the development of the interaction between beat gestures and all metanarrative devices was analyzed in 9 children aged 5-6, 8-9, 11-12, and in 3 adults. Subjects viewed a cartoon and were videotaped recounting the story to listeners of the same age. Results showed that (1) adults produce metanarrative and narrative statements when telling a story, with the beat gestures accompanying metanarrative statements; (2) young children do not produce many metanarrative statements, but the percentage of metanarrative clauses in a story increases with age; (3) young children do produce as many beat gestures as adults, but they do not have the same distribution and do not occur primarily in metanarrative clauses; and (4) young children's beat gestures occur with time words. In conclusion, young children do provide structure, in their speech and gesture, in the stories they tell. This structure, however, exists as a comment on a lower level of organization; the level of links between individual events as opposed to global links between parts of the story seen as a whole. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Biannual Meeting for Research and Child Development (21st, Kansas City, MO, April 27-30, 1989).