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The emergence of temporal elements in narrative units produced by children from 3 to 9 plus 13

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2005
Özcan, Mehmet
The general aim of this descriptive study is to investigate how children from 3 to 9 plus 13- year-olds and adults use temporal elements to organize the macro temporal structure of narratives. In order to achieve this general aim, it specifically delineates how the emergence of story units differ relative to age; how the emergence of temporal elements differ relative to age and story units; and how the function of each temporal element differs relative to age and story unit in the narratives elicited from children from 3 to 9 plus 13-year-olds and adults, using Mercer Mayer̕s (1966) wordless, picture-book Frog, where are you? as stimulus. Participants are 98 children from 3 to 9-yearolds, as 14 informants in each age group; fourteen 13-year-olds and 14 adults. The orally collected data were transcribed and episode boundaries were coded according to Labov̕s (1972) story grammar. The occurrence of each temporal element within the coded episodes was counted. Frequency of each temporal element relative to age and story unit was identified. Functions of each temporal element relative to age and story units were analyzed. A great majority of the 3- and 4-year-olds produce narratives that do not count a story. 5- year-olds produce narratives that can be considered a story, however they fail to produce internal components of episodes. 7-year-olds are observed to produce episodes that contain necessary internal components. The emergence and function of temporal elements show differences relative to age and story unit.