First Advisor

Rhea Paul

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




Narration (Rhetoric), Children -- Language, Slow learning children



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, v, 98 p.)


The narrative, just like any lectured or monologue information which is shared, does not depend to any great extent on context. Therefore, ability to encode and decode the information to be presented verbally is required, that is, in order for the speaker to be able to verbalize what he or she wants to say while taking into consideration the listener's needs. This indicates that production of strong narratives depends on higher level language skills, and so children's narratives provide a sensitive means of assessing children's language development. The purpose of this study was to compare the narrative ability of children at second grade age, using a wordless picture book, with differing rates of language development. Subjects were assigned to three diagnostic groups, (normal, history of expressive language delay, and chronic expressive language delay) based on their original diagnoses at 20 - 34 months (normal or late-talker) and their Developmental Sentence Score (Lee, 1974) at second grade age. During the second grade assessment, each subject was audiotaped producing a spontaneous narrative using a wordless picture book. These narratives were scored on eight measures: Mean Length of Utterance per T-Unit, TypeToken Ratio, Narration Length in T-Units, Information, Average Sentence Length, Lexical Diversity, Cohesion, and Narrative Stage. Results of the ANOVA and the Duncan Test multiple comparison procedures revealed significant differences among the groups on only one variable - Mean Length of Utterance per T-Unit. Children in the normal language group and the history of expressive language delay group performed significantly better than the group of children with chronic expressive language delay. No significant differences were found between the normal language group and the history of expressive language delay subjects.


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