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Narrative Development

  • By: Özlem Ece Demir & Aylin C. Küntay
  • In: Encyclopedia of Language Development
  • Edited by: Patricia J. Brooks & Vera Kempe
  • Subject:Language Development, Language & Communication

Narrative development, a crucial domain of pragmatic development, is the emergence and gradual sophistication of the ability to form extended discourse by children. In their seminal work, William Labov and Joshua Waletzky provided a minimal definition of narrative as two clauses about past events joined by a temporal juncture. Narratives constitute a central component of children's daily experiences, beginning with the early exposure to conversational stories by their caregivers, storybooks, oral tales, or movies. Although, children's earliest talk is about the here and now, they start forming narratives at about 2 to 3 years of age, with development lasting well into adolescence.

Different from the language about the here and now relying on the immediate context, narrative involves the use of decontextualized language about the there ...

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