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What's in a Narrative? Variation in Storytelling at the Interface Between Language and Literacy

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Edited By Christiane Bongartz and Jacopo Torregrossa

Research on narrative production plays a central role in linguistics, psycholinguistics and language acquisition. Narrative elicitation allows researchers to investigate specific linguistic structures and the processes involved in their acquisition in an ecological way. This book provides methodological remarks on how to approach research on narratives, identifying factors that underlie variation in narrative production, including the type of narrative task, cross-linguistic differences, learners’ literacy and cognitive development and the narrative practices in society. The volume features contributions on theoretical and methodological aspects of research on narratives from 16 researchers in linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and developmental psychology.

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Maria Andreou, Ifigenia Dosi and Christiane Bongartz: Aspectual choices by Greek-Italian and Greek-English children

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Maria Andreou, Ifigenia Dosi and Christiane Bongartz

Aspectual choices by Greek-Italian and Greek-English children

Abstract: The present work investigates the acquisition of aspect in Greek by Greek-Italian and Greek-English bilingual children by means of oral narrative retelling. Previous studies suggest that perfective aspect is acquired earlier than imperfective aspect. However, morphological marking of aspect is often affected by the inherent lexical properties of the verb (Aspect Hypothesis), but also by the context (i.e. aspectual coercion). Other studies in bilingual children did not find any or they found a partial mapping between lexical and grammatical aspect. Additionally, cross-linguistic differences often affect the aspectual choices. Recent studies also suggest a link between the performance on aspect and cognitive (i.e. updating) skills. In the present study thirty (N=30) children aged 8;0–8;82 participated, divided equally into three groups (Greek-Italian, Greek-English bilinguals and Greek monolinguals). Two baseline tasks (testing expressive vocabulary and non-verbal intelligence), a cognitive (i.e. updating) task and an oral narrative retelling task were administered to all groups. The results suggest that perfective aspect was more frequently preferred over imperfective aspect by all groups. The Aspect Hypothesis (AH) was supported by our findings, since the matches between lexical and grammatical aspect were more numerous than the mismatches, at least for the monolingual children and the Greek-Italian bilingual children. For the Greek-English bilinguals, a partial correlation was found, since AH was observed only in accomplishments and achievements. This finding may also indicate that Greek-English children overused...

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