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Promoting patients in narrative discourse: A developmental perspective par Harriet Jisa , publié le 18/12/2009
Languages provide speakers with a number of structural options for manipulating the expression of events in narrative discourse. Underlying narrative competence is the capacity to view events as dynamic actions composed of a bundle of elements such as, agent, patient, affectedness, etc. (Hopper and Thompson, 1980). This study examines the grammatical constructions used by children (5-6-, 7-8- and 10-11-year-olds) and adult speakers of Amharic, English, French and Hungarian to manipulate the expression of agent and patient participants in the expression of events. The narrative task used to elicit the data is composed of a series of pictures which recount the adventures of two principal characters (a boy and a dog) in search of their runaway frog (Frog, Where are you? Mayer 1969). Over the course of the story the boy and the dog encounter a host of secondary characters (a mole, an owl, a swarm of bees and a deer) and change participant status, going from controlling agent to affected patient of a secondary character's action. Our interest lies in the range of structures available in the languages studied and their use by children and adults in narrative discourse. We detail how children and adults native speakers of the four languages use topicalising constructions to promote the patient participant in an event to the starting point (Langacker, 1998) of the recounting of that event.
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From buds to flowers: the blossoming of constructions in child language par Aliyah Morgenstern, publié le 18/12/2009
In the course of their development, children make their way along successive transitory systems with their own internal coherence. We will present the paths they follow from gestures and first words to complex constructions embedded in their dialogic context, developing both linguistic, conversational and social skills necessary to full mastery of language. Our data shows that the use of grammatical forms is irregular in terms of canonical syntax but not random, and corresponds to particular semantic/pragmatic features.
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