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Original scientific paper

Sara Košutar, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Faculty of Education and Rehabilitytion Sciences

Gordana Hržica, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Faculty of Education and Rehabilitytion Sciences

https://doi.org/10.22210/suvlin.2021.091.03

 

Abstract

And is the first and most frequent connective in the narrative development, as well as in the acquisition of complex syntax. Previous research within the form–function approach confi rms that the connective and encodes diff erent meanings in children’s discourse and thus serves as a major mechanism for the acquisition of new forms and meanings. In early narrative development, and is also used in the descriptive, picture–to–picture mode, the use of which is abandoned as children grow older. Th e present study aims to investigate diff erences in the frequency of form and functions of and in the narratives of preschool and early school–age children. Narrative samples of 120 children (30 of 4–, 6–, 8– and 10–years olds) were retrieved from the Croatian narrative corpus Frog, where are you?. Connectives from the corpus were classifi ed according to the semantic relations they express (succession, simultaneity, cause, opposition) and their descriptive function. Diff erences were found in the proportions of the connective and in relation to the total number of communication units. The proportions of the connective and decrease with age such that they form an inverted U–curve. Th e semantic and descriptive functions of and also differ. The proportions of the connective and in sequential and causal meanings change with age in a way that mirrors the inverted U–curve, whereas the proportion of and in simultaneity shows stagnation, followed by a marked increase after the age of eight. Only early preschool children use the connective and to produce descriptions based on single pictures. Our results are consistent with previous studies that showed that early language devices for establishing relations in the discourse enable the acquisition of new forms and functions.

 

Key words

children’s discourse; language acquisition; connective and; semantic relations; Croatian

 

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