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MAIN story comprehension: What can we expect of a typically developing child?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6715-7470
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3995-8315
2020 (English)In: LITMUS in Action: Cross-comparison studies across Europe / [ed] Armon-Lotem, Sharon & Grohmann, Kleanthes, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2020Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates story comprehension in 124 typically-developing children aged 4-6 growing up in Sweden, using the LITMUS-MAIN (Multilingual Assessment instrument for Narratives, Gagarina et al. 2012). 72 Swedish monolinguals and 52 Swedish-English bilinguals from similar socio-economic backgrounds told two MAIN stories each and answered standardised questions that probe inferencing of goals and emotions of story characters. Overall comprehension scores were calculated per narrative, and responses to individual questions were analysed. Results were compared across age groups, languages, and tasks. Already at age 4, and certainly at age 6, overall comprehension scores were high, indicating good general understanding of the stories. Scores differed significantly between tasks, suggesting that comprehension of MAIN Cat/Dog is easier than Baby Birds/Baby Goats. For both tasks, protagonists’ goals were understood well at age 4, approaching ceiling (>90%) at age 5-6. Internal states as initiating events were also relatively well understood. However, many children struggled to infer emotional reactions of protagonists when this necessitated taking the whole plotline into account. We suggest that the processing abilities of the average 6-year-old are not yet developed enough to master every aspect of inferential understanding probed on the MAIN. Results held across languages and mono-/bilinguals, suggesting that they generalize.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2020.
Series
Trends in Language Acquisition Research (TILAR), ISSN 1569-0644
Keywords [en]
story comprehension, inference, Swedish, English, preschool, MAIN, benchmark
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-392551OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-392551DiVA, id: diva2:1348899
Note

Boken som kapitlet ingår i är i skrivande stund under utgivning (och har varit det ganska länge)

Available from: 2019-09-05 Created: 2019-09-05 Last updated: 2019-10-04Bibliographically approved

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Bohnacker-Lindgren MAIN Story comprehension(897 kB)10 downloads
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Citation style
  • apa
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