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Macrostructural organization of adults' oral narrative texts
Leibniz Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6715-7470
Leibniz Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin.
2019 (English)In: ZAS Papers in Linguistics, ISSN 1435-9588, Vol. 62, p. 190-208Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates macrostructure in elicited narratives of 69monolingual German-, Russian- and Swedish-speaking adults. Using theLITMUS-MAIN (Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives), and its BabyGoats and Baby Birds stories, story structure and story complexity, concerning episodicorganization, were examined across the 3 languages. As theoretical underpinnings,a multidimensional model of macrostructure was used. This model includesanalyses of story structure (SS), in which a narrative merits a maximum scoreof 17, based on the occurrence of five types of macrostructural components (Internalstates as initiating event and as reaction, Goal, Attempt and Outcome), and of storycomplexity (SC), which measures combinations of Goals, Attempts and Outcomeswithin one episode. The highest attainable complexity is the GAO-sequence, whena Goal, Attempt and Outcome are produced within the same episode. The resultsfor SS were similar for German, Russian and Swedish, where adults included 11-12components per story. A more detailed analysis of the individual componentsrevealed striking similarities across the 3 languages, both for frequently usedand seldom occurring components. SC did not differ significantly acrosslanguages nor across stories, whilst for SS, a slight difference between the two stories was found. We interpret thisfinding as story complexity (a qualitative measure of macrostructure) being ofa more universal nature. Furthermore, our results indicate that caution iswarranted when conclusions about children’s narrative skills are to be drawn onthe basis of the MAIN Baby Goats and Baby Birds stories.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin, 2019. Vol. 62, p. 190-208
Keywords [en]
macrostructure, narrative, Swedish, Russian, German, adults, story complexity, story structure, MAIN
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-392546OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-392546DiVA, id: diva2:1348894
Available from: 2019-09-05 Created: 2019-09-05 Last updated: 2019-09-06

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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