Referential Cohesion in the Narratives of Spanish-Speaking Children A Developmental Study Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1993
Referential Cohesion in the Narratives of Spanish-Speaking Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Vera F. Gutierrez-Clellen
    San Diego State University San Diego, CA
  • Lourdes Heinrichs-Ramos
    San Diego State University San Diego, CA
  • Contact author: Vera F. Gutierrez-Clellen, PhD, Department of Communicative Disorders, College of Health and Human Sen/ices, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182.
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1993
Referential Cohesion in the Narratives of Spanish-Speaking Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1993, Vol. 36, 559-567. doi:10.1044/jshr.3603.559
History: Received June 8, 1992 , Accepted November 25, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1993, Vol. 36, 559-567. doi:10.1044/jshr.3603.559
History: Received June 8, 1992; Accepted November 25, 1992

Forty-six Spanish-speaking children, ages 4, 6, and 8 years, were shown a short silent film and asked to tell the investigator what happened in the movie. All narratives were audiotaped and transcribed for analysis. The development of referential cohesion was examined based on the referential devices the children used to indicate characters, props, and places in their narratives and on their overall referential accuracy. The results demonstrated an increase in the use of elliptical reference to refer to places in stories, an increase in appropriate phrases, and a decrease in ambiguities and additions as children got older. Language-specific factors in the use of reference and individual differences in the achievement of referential cohesion are discussed.

Acknowledgments
The research described was part of a larger investigation initiated in the course of the first author’s doctoral studies. This work was supported, in part, by a U.S. Department of Education, Bilingual Education Doctoral Fellowship Award G008300757 from Temple University. The authors wish to acknowledge partial funding support for data analysis and manuscript preparation from San Diego State University. We are grateful to Donna Thai and Rosemary Quinn for their editorial comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript; Aquiles Iglesias, Jose Jimenez, and Mary Frazier for their support with data collection; and to the principals, teachers, parents, and children who cooperated in this endeavor.
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