Volume 12, Issue 1 (2021)                   LRR 2021, 12(1): 275-302 | Back to browse issues page

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‎Taheri Ghaleno E, Dabirmoghaddam M. The Comparison of Discourse Markers in the Narrative Discourse of 7 and 10 –year-old Persian-Speaking Children with Adults. LRR 2021; 12 (1) :275-302
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-27394-en.html
1- Ph.D in Linguistics, Linguistic Department, Faculty of Literature & Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran
2- , Professor, Linuistic Department, Faculty of Literature & Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran , dabirmoghaddam@atu.ac.ir
Abstract:   (2997 Views)
Discourse markers determine how the addressee’s perceptions are different from or similar to each other. Considering the importance of discourse markers in increasing children’s verbal and linguistic skills and increasing the coherence level of their discourse (Gerhardt, 1990), the purpose of this study is to use the Hansen model (1998) to study the production process of Discourse Markers in the narrative discourse of 7 and 10 –year-old Persian-speaking children and adults. The present research is descriptive and analytic. 37 of the children were 7 years old and 40 were 10 years old. Children were selected purposefully from elementary schools of Tehran. Also, 18 adults were selected in order to compare children’s performance with theirs. The retelling experiment was performed according to the method of Choi (2007) and Kyratizis and Ervin Tripp (1999). The results showed that the subjects were able to use different types of discourse markers in their narrative discourse. The total use of discourse markers in children was more than that of the adults. It seems that sometimes coherence compensates cohesion and sometimes logical and semantic relationships based on prior knowledge play a role instead of discourse markers.
1. Introduction
Discourse Markers are a non-propositional linguistic element whose primary role is to connect different parts of the discourse and their scope is quite diverse and variable. Considering the importance of discourse Markers in increasing children's language and verbal skills and, consequently, raising their level of reasoning about world phenomena, the present research aimed to use Hanson’s model (1998) to study the process of producing discourse markers in the narrative discourse among 7 and 10-year-old Persian speaking boys and girls, and finally to compare their performance with an adult male and female performance.
.Research Hypotheses
1. Seven, ten-year-old, and adult Persian-speakers use various types of discourse marekers that cause coherence in the narrative context retold by them.
2. with the development of language skills, the use of discourse markers in seven, ten-year-old and adult Persian-speakers will increase in the narrative context.
3. There is a significant difference in the use of discourse markers by the seven, ten-year-old, and adult Persian-speakers.
2. Literature Review
Choi (2007) in an article examined the use of discourse markers in children aged four to twelve and adults. The results of his research showed that four-year-olds can use some discourse markers such as so and and. The use of and as a discourse marker is decreased in adults compared to children, but the use of so as a discourse marker increased in adults stories compared to children. Overall, the number of discourse markers decreases in adult stories. Spooren and Sanders (2008) studied the order of coherence relations between the discourse components of Dutch children (6-7 years old and 11 years old). Their results showed that additive relationships are learned before causal relationships. Mehrabi Sari (2013) examined three age groups (4-5, 5-6, 6-7). Her results revealed that the frequency of some discourse markers increased with age development and the frequency of others was constant, but in general, there was no growth trend in the use of discourse markers by children aged four to seven years.
3. Methodology
The present study was conducted in the winter of 2016 on 20 ten-year-old girls and boys (fourth grade of elementary school) and 16 girls and 20 boys in the age group of seven years (first grade of elementary schools). All children were monolingual Persian-speakers. Also, to compare the growth trend of children in using the discourse markers, 18 adults (male and female) with an average age of 28.32 participated in this study. In total, 94 samples of stories were obtained from the subjects of this study.
In this quantitative and descriptive research, the retelling story test based on Choi (2007) and Kirtzis and Erwin Trip (1999) was used to get an idea of ​​how children use discourse markers in the narrative context. To evaluate the "reliability" of the data coding, the data of this study were coded by two coders. We used McHagg (2012) interrater reliability to examine the percentage of agreement between the two coders. The percent agreement in data coding was 91.93%. In cases of disagreement, the two coders agreed through discussion.
4. Results
The results of this study indicate that the subjects in all three age groups had the highest use of discourse markers indicating sequence of events (baʔd, baʔdan, baʔdeʃ). Ten-year-olds and seven-year-old children by using 275 and 230 discourse markers respectively use the sequence DMs more than adults. The use of sequence DMs was significantly reduced in adults compared to children (19 discourses). In total, ten-year-olds with a total of 400 discourse markers had the highest use of them. Seven-year-olds with 290 DMs, and adults with 51 DMs used them less than ten-year olds. Also, to investigate the differences in the performance of the three age groups in using discourse markers Fisher exact test was used. The results of this test indicate that there is a significant difference between the three age groups only in the use of the two discourse markers va ‘and’ and xob ‘well’ (‘and’: P <0.003 and ‘well’: P <0.012) and in the case of other discourse markers, there was no significant difference between the subjects' performance (p> 0.05).
5. Discussion
According to the prediction of the 1st Hypothesis of this research, Seven, ten-year-old, and adult Persian-speakers use various types of discourse markers that cause coherence in the narrative context told by them. The data showed that seven-year-olds used eleven (baʔd > baʔdan> baʔdeʃ >ʔammɑ, vali> pas> ʧon, ʔɑxe> va> masalan>xob), ten-year-olds used thirteen (baʔd > baʔdeʃ > baʔdan > va> masalan, jaʔni> ʔammɑ, vali> xob> pas> hɑlɑ> ʧon, ʔɑxe) and adults also used eleven (baʔd, baʔdeʃ, baʔdan, va> vali> xob> ʧon, ʔɑxe >masalan, jaʔni>pas) types of discourse markers. Therefore, the 1st Hypothesis  of this research is confirmed.
The second hypothesis is confirmed for the two age groups of the children, but is not confirmed for the comparison of children group with the adult group.
Based on the last hypothesis of this study, there is a significant difference in the use of discourse markers by three age groups, but data analysis revealed that although there is a difference between the number of used discourse markers between the three age groups, but this difference only in using the two discourse markers, /xob/ 'well' and /va/ 'and' was significant, and in using other discourse markers, was not significant. Therefore, the last hypothesis is confirmed only for the two mentioned discourse markers and is not confirmed for the other discourse markers.
6. Conclusion
By comparing the performance of children with adults in using discourse markers, it was observed that the total discourse markers of adults were significantly reduced in narrative context, and children in both age groups were more likely to use discourse markers. These results are consistent with Choi’s (2007) studies. Adult language fluency and the number of words in their lexicon, memory power, use of other metalingual tools such as rhythm, body language, and intonation seem to reduce discourse markers in an adult narrative context. So far no research has specifically addressed the reason for this, perhaps sometimes coherence compensating for cohesion, and at other times prior knowledge-based semantic-logical relations play roles instead of discourse markers.
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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: Discourse Analysis
Published: 2021/03/21

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