Story Grammar Elements of African American English Speaking Preschoolers


Sophia Antunes
Jasmine Beltran
Maria Klumb
Nancy Creaghead


By Sophia Antunes, Communication Sciences and Disorders; Jasmine Beltran, CSD; Maria Klumb, CSD

Advisor: Nancy Creaghead

Abstract: Thirty six African American English speaking preschool children retold the wordless picture book story, "Frog Where are You?" (Mayer, 2003) and/or retold their self-generated picture book story to an adult or a peer. Twenty children told at least two stories, and 16 produced one story. The Index of Narrative Complexity (Peterson, Gillam & Gillam, 2008) was used to identify and score the narrative elements produced by the children in each retell condition. These narrative elements include character, setting, initiating event, internal response, plan, action/attempt, complication, and consequence. Narrative features include formulaic markers, temporal markers, causal adverbial clauses, knowledge of dialogue, and narrator evaluation. Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (Miller, Andruaccu & Nockerts, 2011) was used to characterize the children's language, including total number of utterances, mean length of utterance, total number of words, and number of different words. The story grammar elements, narrative and syntactic features produced by the children will be described and compared to age expectations.


Classic Poster (9:45-11:45 AM)