|General programme, activity sheet|
||Thursday 8 September, 2016 16:00 to 16:30
The interaction between socio-cognitive and linguistic abilities in narrative development: a psycholinguistic typology of character representationSpeaker: Judy Kupersmitt, Hadassah Academic College
Authors: Judy R. Kupersmitt and Ageliki Nicolopoulou
Pathbreaking studies of narrative development have contributed to the understanding of form-function relations in the domains of reference, temporality, connectivity, and evaluation within structural and goal-oriented models of narrative analysis (Berman & Slobin, 1994; Hickmann, 2003). The present study seeks to capture a broader range of socio-cognitive and linguistic abilities by looking at the narrators’ abilities to portray the characters and their actions.
80 participants divided into four age groups – ages 5, 8, 12 and adults – were asked to tell a story based on a wordless picture book "The fishing trip" (Rodriguez, 2012). The texts were analyzed in terms of levels of character representation - from the level of actors to agents to persons (Nicolopoulou & Richner, 2007) and levels of syntactic complexity within and between clauses as reflecting various semantic relations (Berman & Nir, 2009; Van Valin, 2001).
Preliminary results of a pilot study showed that at the initial stages of development, the level of actors predominates in the majority of the clauses, syntactically represented by initial clausal junctures (i.e. isolated clauses) with no clear semantic relations or with emerging temporal relations. At age 8, more actions were marked as intentional, co-occurring with emotional reactions or with other events (level of agents), expressed either within the clausal units or between clauses linked by symmetric or dependent stringing. Finally, actions coordinated with higher mental and psychological capacities (level of persons) occurred in more complex hierarchical constructions. The discussion focuses on the interrelations between the syntactic configurations, the semantic relations they expressed (e.g. causality, propositional attitudes, simultaneity) and the discourse motivated representation of the story characters and their actions.
The study underscores the need to integrate between socio-cognitive and linguistic aspects of narrative production, in order to better identify the full range of narrative embedded language capacities of children at different ages.
Discourse and pragmatic development
Place: Room B-11