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The development of narrative skills in Turkish-speaking children: A complexity approach

Ögel Balaban, Hale
Hohenberger, Annette
The present study examines the development of plot, evaluative and syntactic complexity in children's narratives and its relationship with gender, ToM, executive function and linguistic recursive ability. One hundred and five Turkish-speaking children distributed across 4 age groups (four-, five-, seven-eight-, and ten-eleven-year-olds) and 15 adults participated in (a) Elicitation of Narratives Task, (b) Emotional Stroop Task, (c) First- or Second-Order ToM Task (depending on their age), (d) Real-Apparent Emotion Task (four-year-olds), and (e) Comprehension of Complement Clauses Task. Among the three domains of complexity, only plot complexity was found to be related to gender and to develop significantly, in particular at 5 and 7 years of age. Evaluative complexity was low in children in all age groups and was not predicted by any factor. Syntactic complexity was predicted by executive function. These findings are discussed considering the cognitive, linguistic and sociocultural nature of narration.