The Analysis of the Discourse Markers in the Narratives Elicited from Persian-speaking Children

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English, Allameh Tabatabaee University,Tehran, Iran


Discourse markers (DMs) are linguistic elements that index different relations and coherence between units of talk. Most research on the development of these forms has focused on conversations rather than narratives. This article examines age and medium effects on use of various discourse markers in pre-school children. Fifteen normal Iranian monolingual children, male and female, participated in this study. They were divided into three age groups (4-5, 5-6, 6-7). Two tests, story production and story re-production (retelling), based on two different story books were used to elicit the children's narratives.  This study shows that the functions of DMs within the oral narrative context follow neither from their usual meanings nor from their usual discourse functions in other contexts. These markers just help to continue the narrative procedure. Narrative experts illustrate how DMs initiate and conclude narrative action, how they guide listeners to follow their interruption and sequence of narrative elements. The results showed no specific difference on the kind of DM being used regarding the age of the participants; furthermore, in terms of the number of utterances and also DMs, children overall behaved differently when they were asked to retell a story, comparing to the time when they were asked to produce a story.


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