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Blind children's representation of complex scenes in a narrative Christe, Elizabeth 1998

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BLIND CHILDREN'S REPRESENTATION OF COMPLEX SCENES IN A NARRATIVE by ELISABETH CHRISTE D.E.C., John Abbott College, 1993 B.A., McGill University, 1996 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Audiology and Speech Sciences) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December 1998 © Elisabeth Christe, 1998 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department o f / Sckdnl Of Audiolo^ Ohfj .^yy^ ^ ^ g y . The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date flcMXT. im DE-6 (2/88) II ABSTRACT The main goal of this study was to determine how blind children conceptually represent the temporal and spatial relationships in the story, Frog, Where Are You? This was accomplished by examining the terms blind children used to express the temporal and spatial relations in narrating the complex scenes and events in the story. A secondary objective was to determine the global coherence of the children's narratives by analysing their use of tense in their narratives - specifically whether they chose to use an anchor tense — as well as their inclusion of the main plot components of the story. Final goals were to determine the extent to which the blind children used memorized clauses while retelling the story and how the results obtained from blind children compared with those from age-matched sighted children. The study involved audio taping five blind children and five age-matched sighted children's retelling of Frog, Where Are You? after they heard different versions of the story over the period of a week. The narratives were transcribed and analysed for temporal and spatial categories, anchor tense and plot units, and whether they contained clauses identical or close to the clauses in the written versions of the story. Results indicate that children in both groups grounded their narratives in an anchor tense and assigned a signalling function to rarer verb forms. Both groups used a large number of time expressions. The sighted children narrated more events as being simultaneous than did the blind children; however, there were no group differences on the comprehension questions. All the children also used a fair number Ill of spatial markers, but these were rarely if ever used to relate the position of the two protagonists. Sighted children, rather than blind children, tended to overestimate distances. Sighted children included more plot components in their narratives than did blind children. Finally, the use of verbatim repetition of clauses was found to be higher in blind children's narratives. In summary, results show some differences, especially with regard to spatial concepts, in the narratives of blind and sighted children. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii LIST OF TABLES viii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix CHAPTER ONE : INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE REVIEW 1 Introduction 1 The Story 3 The Search Sequence 4 Temporal Representation 6 The Expression of Time 8 The Relation of Simultaneity 12 Tense and Aspect 15 Tense in Narratives 18 Adverbials 20 Temporal Terms and Connectivity 22 Spatial Terms and Relations 25 Talking About Places 29 Asymmetry of Figure and Reference Objects 30 Geometric Restrictions 31 Distance and Relative Location 34 Blind Children's Language Development 37 Echolalia 40 Summary 44 Research Hypotheses 45 CHAPTER Two: METHOD 48 Overview 48 Participants 49 V The Story Scripts 50 Procedures for Data Collection 53 Transcription Procedures 55 Coding and Analysis 56 Plot Components 57 Temporal Analyses 59 Verb Tense 59 Temporal Terms 59 Temporal Relations 61 Spatial Analyses 62 Spatial Terms and Relations 62 Memorized Clauses 63 CHAPTER THREE: RESULTS 66 Overview 66 Language Testing 66 Plot Components 67 Temporal Analyses 70 Verb Tense 70 Temporal Terms 75 Temporal Relations 76 Spatial Analyses 85 Spatial Terms 85 Spatial Relations 87 Memorized Clauses 90 CHAPTER FOUR: DISCUSSION 96 Overview 96 Caveats 97 vi Temporal Results 99 Temporal Terms 99 Temporal Relations 100 Spatial Results 103 Spatial Terms 103 Spatial Relations 104 Plot Components 106 Tense in Narratives 109 Memorized Clauses 110 Summary 112 Limitations of the Current Study 113 Directions for Future Research 114 REFERENCES 115 APPENDIX A: Eight Versions of the Story 'Frog, Where Are You?' (Mercer Mayer) . . . 120 APPENDIX B: Summary of Scenes and Frames in Pictures 9 - 1 2 126 APPENDIX C: Comprehension Questions for 'Frog, Where Are You?' 137 APPENDIX D: Scores on the Listening to Paragraphs subtest of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals - 3 138 vii APPENDIX E: Summary of All the Temporal Terms Used 139 APPENDIX F: Summary of All the Spatial Terms Used 141 APPENDIX G: Scores on the Recalling Sentences Subtest of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals - 3 142 APPENDIX H: Scores on the Auditory Sequential Memory Subtest of the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities - R 143 VIII LIST OF TABLES 2.1: Age and Gender of Participants 50 2.2: Structure of the Eight Stories in Terms of Order of Mention of the Boy and the Dog 53 2.3: Plot Components Analysed 58 2.4: Major Categories of Temporal Markers 60 2.5: Categories of Spatial Terms 63 3.1: Standard Scores Obtained on the Listening to Paragraphs subtest of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamental - 3 66 3.2: Plot Components (Trabasso et al. 1992) in the Children's Narratives . . . . 68 3.3: Proportion of Narrators Who Included Plot Components 69 3.4: Number of Instances (and %) of Use of Each Verb Tense by Each Child . 72 3.5: Summary of Dominant Tense in Children's Narratives 73 3.6: Total Number of Time Expressions Found in Each Narrative 76 3.7: The Children's Marking of Simultaneity in Their Narratives 79 3.8: Event Pairs Marked as Simultaneous by the Children in Their Narrative/ Comprehension Question Answers 82 3.9: Children's Use of Spatial Terms in Their Narratives 86 3.10: Distribution of Clauses in First Narrative 92 3.11: Distribution of Clauses in the Second Narratives 93 3.12: Scores on Memory Tests Compared to Percentage of Memorized Clauses. 95 4.1: Use of Exact Repetition and Clauses Repeated With Only One Change, As a Percentage of Total Clauses 111 ix ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank all the children who offered me their "versions" of the frog story, and their parents and families who read my versions to them. Without their help this thesis would not have been possible. I am eternally endepted to Dr. Carolyn Johnson for all her help, frienship, hospitality, and support, especially during those last few weeks. I would also like to thank Dr. Judith Johnston for her important advice . I want to thank my parents, who were far away in body but not in spirit, for their love and support, and many years of believing in me. Finally, I would like to thank my husband Sean for his love, constant encouragment, and his sense of humor without which I would be lost. This research was funded by a grant to Dr. Carolyn Johnson from the Hampton Funding Agency; I am very grateful for this support. 1 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction Children are introduced to stories early in life. Even before children can read, they can pick up a picture book and tell you a long and sometimes detailed story, simply by looking at the pictures. This ability is an important first step towards adultlike narrative skills and literacy. When young children look at the pictures in a picture book, they form a kind of mental representation of the story, guided by their knowledge of the world and of story structure. The pictures offer rich information that can then be translated into words, and ultimately stories. We know that sighted children often start handling books and looking at pictures in books, and being read to before they are two; that is, they are already learning to take meaning from pictures. Given this ubiquity of children's experience with picture-book stories, it is interesting to consider the case of children who cannot see. Blind children are likely to have a lot less experience with stories at such a young age. Children without vision only have access to stories without pictures, so must always build a representation of a given story filtered through the storyteller's perspective. Unlike sighted children in literate societies, blind children must depend solely on language to understand the relationships between the events in the story, as well as the location of the protagonists in relation to each other and objects in the story. The storyteller uses a number of linguistic forms, such as conjunctions, locatives, and verbal tense, to 'package' the events and locations to show their relations. The blind 2 children must understand these forms and their meaning before gaining access to stories. One way to illustrate this point is to look at a specific picture-book story that has been widely used to investigate the development of children's narrative language: Frog, where are you? (Mayer, 1969). It has been used with children as young as 3 years of age, who tell relatively simple accounts of the events, as well as adults, who are able to incorporate their cognitive, linguistic, and communicative abilities to present a mature story. In other words, this story is complex enough to reveal information about the development of narratives from ages 3 to adulthood. Another reason why this story has been used so widely is that it contains a complex packaging of temporal and spatial relations, where two different characters are involved in different events that occur at the same time. For example, in one scene the boy is looking down a gopher hole and a gopher comes up and bites him on the nose; at the same time, his dog has found a beehive in a tree, and he is jumping up against the tree trunk and barking at the beehive. To be able to tell this story, one must first be able to 'unpack' the pictorial representation to be able to understand and structure the story. In order to represent the events linguistically, the information needs to be 'repackaged' using language. In this way, Frog, Where Are You? allows for the investigation of how children (as well as adults) are able to linguistically express the complex temporal and spatial relationships between the two events the two protagonists are involved in. The key point is that, traditionally when the story Frog, Where Are You? has been used in language studies, the narratives obtained were from subjects who had the visual support of the pictures 3 in the story book when narrating the story. Due to their lack of vision, blind children can only be presented with a verbal rendition of this story. How, then, might we assume they conceptually represent the complex temporal and spatial relationships that are present in this story; that is, will blind children's conceptions and linguistic representations of the spatial and temporal information in the story — and more generally — be different due to the lack of visual input? Will their narrative abilities suffer due to lack of early experience with picture-book stories? Chapter One first explains in more detail why Frog, Where Are You? provides an interesting vehicle for investigating this question. It goes on to review developmental literature relevant to understanding the expression of the relevant temporal and spatial relations, and research on blind children's language development. The specific research questions addressed by the study will also be outlined in this chapter. Chapter Two deals with the method of the study, including subject information, data collection and transcription processes, coding scheme, and analysis procedures. The results of the study are provided in Chapter Three, and the final chapter discusses these results with regard to the research hypotheses and previous research in the area of spatial and temporal relations as well as some of the effects of blindness on the development of these concepts. The Story Before we begin, some more background information is necessary about the story 4 Frog, where are you? Previous research (e.g., Bamberg, 1987; Berman & Slobin, 1994) has led us to the point where we now know a fair amount about how sighted children and adults use language to organize the story. As mentioned earlier, this story provides an interesting opportunity to determine how blind children, who cannot see the pictures, understand and present information about temporal and spatial relationships. Frog, where are you? (Mayer, 1969) is a wordless child's picture book. Twenty-four simple black and white pictures tell the story of a young boy and his dog. The adventure begins when their pet frog escapes overnight. The search for the infamous frog leads our two other characters into mini adventures of their own before they finally find their frog. The pictures in the book are rich with information about both the boy and his dog, as well as their environment. A number of events take place within relatively few pages, and at several points throughout the story, the boy and the dog shown in a single picture are actually involved in separate adventures. The 'reader' can present quite an interesting and complex story from these twenty-four simple black and white pictures. Of particular interest is the set of scenes in the story often referred to as the 'search sequence'. The Search Sequence In this part of the story, both the boy and the dog are represented in each picture but are involved in different events, some of which occur simultaneously. This is where the interesting spatial and temporal information comes into play. Although the boy and the dog are always in relative proximity to one another, the relative location and spatial 5 distance between them varies from picture to picture. In the same way, the events in which each protagonist is engaged are related through complex temporal relations. This sets the scene for thinking about how children who are unable to see these complex scenes unfold might conceptually represent them in their minds when hearing the story. The story begins with the boy and his dog looking at a frog in a jar. One night while they are asleep, the frog climbs out of the jar and escapes. In the morning, the boy and dog look all over the little boy's room for the frog, but to no avail. The search sequence of interest begins with picture 8, where the boy and his dog head outside to search for their frog. They stand at the edge of a forest, and already their separate simultaneous adventures begin. In picture 8, the dog sniffs at some bees while the boy calls out for the frog. Then in pictures 9 and 10, the boy encounters a gopher, while in pictures 9 through 12, the dog has his own adventure with a beehive and its residents. Finally, in pictures 11 through 13, the boy has an encounter with an owl. According to Bamberg, there are sixteen different ways a narrator may choose from when deciding how to arrange and present the frames of the story depicted on pages 9 through 12 (1987, p. 124). A 'frame' is a snapshot of an event as it is occurring, and in this case shows what one protagonist is doing in relation to the other in one picture in the book. These various frames include both events occurring one after/before another, and events happening at the same time: the boy's encounter with the owl follows his encounter (in a different location) with the gopher. The dog's adventure with the bees starts before either of these encounters and overlaps both of them in time. 6 The way that children choose to present this information offers a window into the development of internal representations of temporal and spatial relations and various ways to talk about them. This seemingly simple children's story has an underlying complexity and can be narrated many different ways. It requires the narrator to carefully choose how to organize his or her narrative to maintain the original order of events as well as express spatial information, to allow the listener to recreate the "true" story from the verbal information provided, although - for sighted listeners - it is not as crucial to make spatial information explicit, because it is shown clearly by the picture. The listener's task is similar to that of blind children. Blind children obviously 'receive' temporal and spatial information that is present in the story, and they must conceptually represent the information. It is interesting to ask how blind children understand and talk about the temporal and spatial representations of the search events, depending solely on the language of the storyteller. To explore this question, it is first necessary to review information about how storytellers use language to express these relations. The next two sections will explain temporal, and then spatial, notions that provide the framework for this investigation. Temporal Representation In this section we are interested in finding out how it is that we represent temporal relations in our language, and how this influences children's understanding and production of the complex temporal representations found in a story such as Frog, where are you? Two events can either occur simultaneously, where they occur at the 7 same time to at least some extent, or sequentially, where one events occurs before/after another. We need to consider this fact with regard to the experiences of blind children, and the temporal relations that they are exposed to. Although in their every day activities they are constantly exposed to sequentiality (I got up, then got dressed, then I ate breakfast and then went to school), their exposure to simultaneous events may be more limited. Consider that they themselves can do two things at the same time, but in the current study, we are more interested in two events performed by two different people. These experiences would be more limited unless explicit attention is brought to them; that is a sighted child can look up from her pile of blocks and see her mother making cookies, whereas a blind child may not realize what is happening in his/her environment. Even if explicit attention is brought to the fact that, for example, mommy is making cookies while you are playing with blocks, the children must rely on language to understand what this means. Unless there are other cues such as the noise of mixing the batter, or the smell of the ingredients, the child may not realize that another event is occurring. Simply, blind children's exposure to, and understanding of simultaneous events may be more limited when compared with their sighted peers. How do their experiences with the occurrence events in their environment, or lack thereof, influence their development of a conceptual basis for talking about and understanding temporality, specifically with regard to simultaneity, as this is key to interpreting the relation between events in Frog, where are you? Since blind children do not look at pictures when telling a story, they do not have the visual support to guide them with regard to representing the relation between two 8 events. Without this support, the blind children must rely on their mental representation of the events when retelling the story. This becomes a story-retell task. They must understand from the narrator's language whether events are sequential or simultaneous; and they must have command of the language structures to express these event relationships in their own telling of the story. It is necessary at this point to address what these language structures are and how they might develop. The relevant constructs are the notion of simultaneity and sequentiality, tense and aspect, adverbials, and temporal connectivity. The Expression of Time Within a story, there is usually a certain amount of time that elapses from the beginning to the end. The events within the story are related together in time, and our linguistic abilities allow us to pinpoint and explain exactly when one event begins or ends with regard to another. Coherent narratives often contain complex temporal structures. The ways in which one conceptualizes a story will be reflected in the temporal relations within the structure of the narrative produced. Young children first have the task of conceptualizing, or discovering, the existence of different temporal relations, and then they must learn how to include these relations in their discourse. How does this ability develop? And more to the point, if blind children are unable to visually experience the temporal interactions of several events occurring at the same time, this may result in a different conceptualization of the story; if so, this should be represented in their use of language. When a story involves several participants, as does the frog story, in the 9 absence of pictures it often demands explicit linguistic marking for the events to be interpreted as occurring simultaneously. Looking at the temporal relations expressed by the blind children in their narratives is one means of assessing how they represented the temporal information in the story. There are three "basic relations" in our concept of time: two are the temporal relations of 'before' and 'after'; the third is simultaneity (Aksu-Koc & von Stutterheim, 1994, p. 394). Although the concepts of 'before' and 'after' have received a significant amount of interest, there has been relatively little research on the development of the concept of simultaneity. Simultaneity can be defines as follows: "Two events, processes, or states are simultaneous if they share a value on the time axis. Temporal boundaries need not coincide" (Aksu-Koc & von Stutterheim, 1984, p.397). To understand the linguistic expression of simultaneity and sequentiality, it is useful to look at the theoretical framework used for much research on the development of tense and aspect and other temporal forms ( e.g., Aksu-Kog & von Stutterheim, 1994; Bamberg, 1987; Weist, 1986). We will thus examine Reinchart's (1947) framework, which is based on the relations among three temporal concepts: 1) speech time (ST) - the time interval of the speech act {when something was said); 2) event time (ET) - the time relative to the ST which is established for a specific situation (when the event occurred relative to when it was spoken about); 3) reference time (RT) - the temporal context which is identified (when specifically the event did or will occur). 10 These "temporal concepts" can enter into three relations, namely the "basic relations" of time: before, after, and simultaneous. The following are some examples, relating to Frog, Where Are You?, to demonstrate some of the relations that can occur between ST, ET, and RT. (In these examples, "=" means at the same time.) 1) The boy and the dog are sleeping now. ST (present) = ET (are sleeping <present progressive>) = RT (now). 2) The boy caught the frog yesterday. RT (yesterday) = ET (caught <past>); but ET and RT come before ST (present). 3) The boy will look for his frog after sunrise. ET (will look <future>) comes after RT (sunrise); RT comes after ST (present). Many configurations are possible between the temporal concepts of ST, ET, and RT. According to Weist's (1986) developmental theory, which is based on Reinchart's (1947) theory, the development of our concept of time and temporal relations occurs through four stages, or 'systems'. These systems allow children to develop the capacity to express more and more complex configurations of the temporal concepts. The first and earliest temporal system is called the 'Speech Time System', where the only relation expressed is that of ST=ET=RT. Children use this system until approximately age two, since one can only express the "here and now" using this system. At about age two, children develop the 'Event Time System'. In this second system RT is still always at the same time as ST, but ET, through the use of tense, can be expressed as occurring before, after, or simultaneously with ST. Between the ages of 3;0 and 4;0, the third system emerges, the 'Reference Time System'. At this stage 11 we find the onset of temporal adverbs and temporal adverbial clauses. The free RT system involves full distinction between ST, ET, and RT, where each one is independent and the child can use a full range of temporal relations (Weist, 1986). Language development research (see for example Brown, 1973; Weist, 1986) has found that children start off by marking temporal relations in their speech through the use of verb inflection. By the age of 2;6, there is an increase in the number of auxiliaries and/or inflections that children use. They also begin to introduce temporal adverbials into their discourse. The use of deictic terms (yesterday, tomorrow) seems to precede the use of nondeictic terms (after, before). Finally, once children acquire the concept of simultaneity they will be able to use the three temporal concepts, i.e., event time, reference time, and speech time, to express many different temporal relationships in their discourse (Aksu-Koc & von Stutterheim, 1994). In discourse, the temporal relationships between two events can be expressed in several different ways. It often begins with the simple juxtaposition of two independent clauses that retain the order of occurrence of the events (e.g., The boy and the dog caught a frog. They took him home. The boy put the frog in a jar). The child then moves on to relating two clauses with adverbials, while continuing to maintain the order of occurrence of the events (e.g., The boy went home after he found the frog). Finally, around the age of 3;0 to 3;6, the child begins to use conjunctions as well, and adverbials more freely, and needs to give less attention to the relation between the order of presentation and that of mention (Weist, 1986). So we see that children seem to move through distinct developmental stages with regard to their ability 12 to relate events they are talking about. According to Weist (1986), by age 5;0, children seem be able to use a free Reference Time System. The "full" and "free" production and comprehension of the basic relations of before, after, and simultaneity signal the fact that a child can establish ST, ET, and RT at three related but different points in time. In English, there are three linguistic means by which speakers can locate events in time: 1) Lexically composite expressions, e.g., ten minutes ago, just after he woke up (with this type of event location there is a high accuracy of time of event); 2) Lexical items, e.g., now, tomorrow; 3) Grammatical categories of tense and aspect. The Relation of Simultaneity The temporal relation of central interest is that of simultaneity. Each picture in the picture-book, Frog, Where Are You? displays both protagonists. This forces the 'reader' to package the linguistic representation in a way that adequately represents this fact. Without the visual information, one is left with only the linguistic packaging. Blind children often only have linguistic information about events. One might speculate that due to this fact, blind children might be better at expressing temporal relations than their sighted peers. However, one must keep in mind that the blind children are often have a different range of experience with simultaneity, so their path to the meaning of the linguistic expression of simultaneity may also be different from that of sighted 13 children. Some background for thinking about different kinds of simultaneity will be presented. The basic notions of event time (ET), speech time (ST), and reference time (RT) are also used to distinguish different levels of simultaneity. The concept of simultaneity is one of the last temporal concepts to develop in sighted children and the last to be used in discourse. It is claimed to only appear around age 3;0-3;6, and to take until later childhood to be perfected (Aksu-Koc & von Stutterheim, 1984). Although the events that the boy and the dog are involved in (in the story Frog, Where Are You?) may not begin and end at exactly the same moment, the course of the events do share values on the time axis and thus meet Aksu-Koc and von Stutterheim's criterion for simultaneity. An example from the story might be: Just as the boy hit the ground with a thud, his dog came running by, chased by the swarm of angry bees! In this example, we know that the event of the dog running probably began before the event of the boy falling out of the tree, but we also know that the two events share a value on the time line from our semantic knowledge of just as. Aksu-Koc & von Stutterheim discuss three levels of simultaneity that were relevant in their database. First is the simultaneity of two or more "event-times," where the two events involved have either identical or overlapping values on the time axis. An example of this is: The frog was in the jar and the boy was looking at him. 14 The second kind of simultaneity involves 'the time axis of discourse.' Here, the narrator presents events which may follow the actual time line, but may introduce a subjective perspective on the events. The speaker may make reference to the two events so as to make them seem to have occurred simultaneously, for example, Last week, Joshua went to New York and Louise went to Halifax. Finally, the third type of simultaneity may occur on the 'time axis of perception.' This type is particularly interesting in a picture-story task. "A picture equals a thousand words," or in this case several events, which all appear to be happening at the same time. The speaker must find a linguistic way to express the fact that he sees two events (in the picture) happening at the same time. Aksu-Koc & von Stutterheim show that this 'temporal approach' is used in linguistic expressions by even their youngest subjects. The following is an example from a German 3-year-old (p. 399): Man sieht den Jungen lachen und den Hund in Witterungshaltung. 'One sees the boy laugh and the dog standing in a sniffing position.' If we consider for a moment that although the first two types of simultaneity can be experienced by most, the simultaneity of perception would be much more difficult for a blind child to experience. On the other hand, the whole notion of simultaneity might be a difficult one for blind children. One might ask whether the other sensory modes are equal to that of vision in terms of experiencing and apprehending the notion of simultaneity. Sighted children can passively experience simultaneity of events by watching the people in their environment, where as blind children lack this opportunity. Aksu-Kog and von Stutterheim discuss several other ways that simultaneity was 15 expressed in some of their crosslinguistic data. For example, some children used parallel wording from one clause to the next, adding 'too' to the second one, as in: The boy is sleeping, the dog is sleeping too. Spatial deictics, such as there, can assume a 'discourse-internal' function, and this can be a means of indicating simultaneity. Aksu-Koc & von Stutterheim give the following example: They search in the woods, there they find a beehive (p. 432). In this case the event of 'searching' has not ended before they find the beehive. The simultaneity of these two events is made explicit by the spatial deictic there, as it might replace the phrase 'as they were searching'. Tense and Aspect Tense and aspect also relate events to each other. Tense encodes notions of temporality (past, present, future) in relation to the time of speaking or another reference time. It also contributes importantly to the global coherence of a story. In this project, we investigated blind children's use of tense as a means of acquiring information about their global temporal representation of the events in the frog story, and also as a measure of their abilities to coherently present these events in time. Berman and Slobin (1994; as well as Comrie, 1985) defined tense as "the grammaticalization of location in time" (p. 111). In English tense is obligatory. There are two types of tense: 1) Absolute tense, where a referent event is related to the moment of speaking. 16 For example, in / went to the store, past tense is used because the referent event (going to the store) occurred before ST. These tenses include past, present, and future. For each of these, RT=ST. 2) Relative tense, where an event is related to a RT (possibly another event) prior or subsequent to ST. This type of tense is used when the ET is not equal to the RT (e.g., In the morning, the boy went to his jar but his frog had escaped. The use of the past perfect tense marks the ET as occurring prior to the RT. (RT= in the morning when the boy went to his jar, using a past tense verb, and the ET= during the night, also using a past tense verb but referring to a different time in the past). In all languages, speakers are required to express some notion of temporality, and in English the most common medium is through the use of verb morphology. When telling a story, the narrator can use verb morphology to mark a number of temporal notions. Developmentally, Brown (1973) found that children used the regular past tense, third person regular -s, as well as the auxiliary is by the time they were at stage III (MLU = 2.75), or between the ages of 2;7 to 2; 10. This shows that at a very young age, children understand the need to locate events in time at the level of individual utterances and do so adequately. Aspect is defined as "the grammaticalization of expression of inherent temporal constituency" (Comrie, 1985, p. 6). Aspect is usually marked in four different ways in language: 1) morphological marking on the verb (eat up); 17 2) aspectual verbs (stop, continue); 3) adverbial words or phrases (already, all the time); 4) repetition {barking and barking). Aspect usually complements the verbs used, but often adds important information that will help the reader/listener place all the events in time. Some examples from Frog, Where Are You? are as follows: 1) achievement (the reaching of a goal): after all, they finally managed to; 2) lative (moving/changing location) go out to search, come to see; 3) perfect (relative to time of speech or some other referent) already, still, (Berman & Slobin, 1994, p. 117). These are but a few examples of the types of aspectual markers that exist. Aspect can also be marked directly on the verb, as in the case of progressive (be + -ing) or perfect (had + -ed) aspect. Brown (1973) found that the present progressive in English (-ing) was the first to be acquired of 14 grammatical morphemes he studied. In narratives, the progressive is used to show the continuation of a backgrounded events in relation to the foregrounded event, for example, the youngest blind child in the current study said: One night when the boy and dog were sleeping soundly, the frog quietly crept out of the bedroom window and jumped out. Here the past progressive indicates the background (the boy and the dog sleeping) for the frog's actions, i.e., it shows the simultaneity of the two different events (although in this case we can also interpret the simultaneity of the events from the term when.) 18 The progressive aspect is used in the narratives of younger children (3-, 4- and 5-year-olds) as an expression of simultaneity. In (American) English, the perfect aspect appears before age 5, and is used to express simultaneity between the present situation and an earlier one that is currently relevant (Berman & Slobin, 1994: the perfect aspect in used differently and acquired earlier in British English), for example, The boy, who had climbed the tree, looked in it. However, Berman & Slobin found that the perfect aspect was rarely used by younger children in their narratives. The use of the aspect the children's narratives was examined in the current study as an additional means by which the children may express simultaneity. Tense in Narratives The tense used by the children in their narratives is of particular interest with regard to whether they used a 'predominant' or 'anchor' tense, which gives us information about whether their temporal retelling of the events is globally coherent. The 3- and 4-year-olds in Berman & Slobin's (1994) study used a conversational style to tell their frog stories: they used spatial deictics, such as here and there, followed by a deictically anchored utterance which referred directly to the events they perceived in the pictures. By the age of 5, children begin to leave behind their earlier perceptual organization for a temporal one. Berman and Slobin found that, unlike the 3-year-olds, most 5-year-olds used an anchor tense in their narratives. The criterion for anchor tense is that a minimum of 75% of verbs in the narrative be in one tense 19 (Berman & Slobin, 1994, p. 62). In English, adults typically anchor their narratives in the past tense, in classic "fairy tale" style: Once upon a time... . Berman & Slobin considered tense anchoring to be one of the criteria of a well formed narrative. In English, the past tense is the unmarked form for the retelling of events in chronological order. In Frog, where are you?, it is possible to use the present tense if one is using a picture-based description of the story. For example, the very first picture of the story can be told using the past tense: Once there was a boy and a dog. One night they sat by a jar in the boy's bedroom and looked at the frog they had caught. This same scene can be described using the present tense, and be equally "well formed": There is a boy and a dog. They are sitting next to a jar and looking at a frog they caught earlier that day. For this reason, Berman and Slobin (1994) did not require a narrative to be anchored in the past tense to be well formed, but only that it be anchored in one tense. They found that by the age of 4;0, most children were anchoring their narratives in either the past or the present tense. The number of English speaking children who anchored their narratives in the past tense increased slightly, from 41.6% to 66.6%, between the ages of 4;0 and 9;0. However, only 16.6% of the English-speaking adults in Berman & Slobin's study anchored their narratives in the past tense, the majority (75%) used the present tense. It seems that, as opposed to most of the children, the adults treated "the pictures as depicting a currently unfolding sequence of events" (Berman & Slobin, 20 p.131). Tense shifting, i.e., "shifting one or more times in a narrative out of the dominant tense to its converse" (Berman & Slobin, p. 134) has its function even in a well formed narrative. The shifts can serve two functions; one is local and the other is an extended function. Locally, tense shifting helps to mark the "true" sequence of events in a sentence, for example, The dog is coming back and he is ashamed that he was outdone by the bees. The extended function of tense shifting marks more global changes in a narrative. A person may decide to introduce his or her story in the present tense, but then continue the telling of the events and outcomes strictly in the past tense: This is the story of a boy and a dog. They live near a forest... One day, they caught a frog and brought him home. The distribution of the different tense forms, as well as the "functions" they serve provide more information about the order in which blind children have conceptually represented the occurrence of events. Adverbials Adverbials are another means by which children can express relationships between events. Berman & Slobin (1994) found that adverbial were used only very rarely in children's narratives. They found some examples, such as meanwhile, which can be used to express simultaneity; suddenly, which is used at the onset of a new event; and already, all over describing especially the search scene in the boy's room. Two other 21 adverbial, now and still, were found to a slightly greater extent in the children's narratives. Berman and Slobin found that half of the 5-year-olds used still. It is first used with a progressive verb, for example, He is still searching for the frog. In this case, the continuity of the event is marked both lexically still and grammatically (progressive). Older children and especially adults, use still to mark the "protractedness of states" (Berman & Slobin, 1994, p. 150). One example in this case might be, The jar is still on his head. The use of the adverbial now was also found, but it was mostly present in the narratives of 3 and 4-year-olds (Berman & Slobin, 1994). These children used now either in a deictic sense, for example, Now look what happened to the dog, or as a transition from one picture to the next, as in, Now there's bees going around. Berman and Slobin found that older children never used this form. However, it was again found in the narratives of adults, who typically embedded the term now into structures that were lexically and/or syntactically more complex, for example, The boy is also in danger now that the owl has been disturbed. Some prepositional phrases that function as adverbials are used to express the passing of time in narratives, for example, In the morning, the boy and the dog woke up. At niaht time, the boy and the dog said goodnight to their frog. 22 These temporal expression were found more often in adult narratives (i.e., at the 'Mature Thematic Chunking' stage, see below) than in those of younger children. They are often used to connect 'chunks of clauses', and create cohesive narratives by adding both syntactically organization and thematically relevance (Berman & Slobin, 1994, p. 180). Temporal Terms and Connectivity Children's use of temporal terms, as well as the context in which they are used, allows us to examine children's understanding and linguistic representation of temporal relations. If blind children do conceptually represent the temporal events differently than do sighted children, it should be reflected in their selection and use of temporal terms. It is important to remember that a narrative is not just a collection of random utterances. Rather, it is a collection of utterances sequenced to express how events occurred. The order of the events is not always directly reflected in the order of mention. Temporal terms allow the speaker to 'play' with the events while maintaining the 'true' order of events. Do blind children show this flexibility of use (represented by their use of temporal terms)? Adults are able to link the various parts of their narrative to create a coherent and unified whole. They can minimally connect one clause to the next, for example: While the boy and the dog were sleeping, the frog decided to escape. They can also connect extended sections of discourse. An example from one of the 23 children in the current study was: The dog saw a swarm of bees going into their hive, and he got very interested in it. So he started barking at the bees in the hive. Meanwhile, the boy was looking around and saw a hole, and looked down and called 'froggie where are you?'. Berman & Slobin (1994) explain that, developmental^, 3-year-olds used mainly "utterance connectivity," stringing together only consecutive utterances, motivated mainly by the shifts from one picture to the next. Dromi and Berman (1986) found that nearly half (43%) of Hebrew-speaking 3-year-olds' texts failed to mark a connection from one clause to the next, where most of the children's utterances were 'free'; in other words they were related neither lexically nor syntactically to the following or preceding utterances. Berman and Slobin labelled this stage juvenile utterance connectivity' (p. 175). Around the age of five, children begin to shift to more connected discourse (as opposed to connected utterances). Berman and Slobin found that children between the ages of five and nine tended to connect most clauses (85%) sequentially to the one that followed, and had relatively few "free" clauses. They found that most of these children used the conjunction and (71% of 5-year-olds and 68% of 9-year-olds, compared to 40% of 3-year-olds) when connecting clauses. They also found that 5-and 9-year-olds' favored connective device was and then, which was found in every child's narrative (26% of 5-year-olds' clauses and 15% of 9-year-olds' clauses). The use of this connector begins to decline as children grow older, as is evident by the 24 decrease from ages five to nine, and is used only marginally by adults (Berman & Slobin, 1994). It is also at this stage that children begin to use a wider variety of connectors, especially when and while (Berman & Slobin, 1994). Silva (1991) found similar evidence of a developmental trend with regard to the use of when, while, and as in narratives. She found that the younger children favored the use of when, slightly older children used both when and while; however, all the adults favored the use of as, while only two of the children, in the older group, each showed one instance of this temporal term. Berman and Slobin labelled this stage 'grammaticized sequential chaining' (p. 177) The final stage, called 'mature thematic chunking', is represented by most adult English texts, which contain a "relatively complete repertoire of connective devices," although no one text can represent this end state (Berman & Slobin, 1994, p. 180). Adults are able to use the connective devices in all clausal positions (as opposed to children's tendency to use them only in clause-initial positions). For example, where a child might say, Now the bees are chasing the dog, an adult is able to change the position of now from clause-initial to clause-medial position, as in, The bees are now chasing the dog. Adults connect larger portions of text, and in this way create "hierarchically organized pieces of discourse'" (Berman & Slobin, 1994, p. 180). Another area of interest is how these terms are used between parts of text, often referred to as 'connectivity'. For example, Berman & Slobin (1994) found that 3-year-olds tended to mark connections in an utterance-initial position, and that in these cases they tend to connect things on a spatial basis rather than a temporal one, using such 25 lexical terms as here or in here. By the age of 5, children begin to realize that events occur either simultaneously or in sequence. Berman & Slobin talk about the development of 'chaining' at this age, which simply means that 5-year-olds are able to connect, or link together, one sequence with the next, usually starting with and or and then. Children at this age also begin to use a larger variety of temporal expressions such as, when, after, then, and meanwhile. By age nine, Berman & Slobin found that children's narratives are more mature in structure; however, they still frequently use temporal expressions (such as then and afterwards) to link two events, and also some causal connectors, for example, because. They also found that many 9-year-olds still used constructions with and or and then. These developmental stages need to be considered when examining blind children's abilities to use temporal terms to express their conceptualization of the unfolding of the events in Frog, where are you? Does their development of use mimic that of sighted children, is it delayed, or is it altogether different? Spatial Terms and Relations In this section, our main interest is in finding out how blind children might understand and talk about spatial relationships between two protagonists when they are simultaneously engaged in different activities. To do this, we need to know about what is involved in relational spatial knowledge, including distance, and how children learn to talk about it. Spatial knowledge involves "the representations underlying object recognition, 26 object search, and navigation through space" (Landau & Jackendoff, 1993, p. 217). Landau and Jackendoff begin by clarifying their notion of spatial representation. They believe that if we are able to express a certain aspect of space through the use of language, we must also be able to represent this in a "nonlinguistic spatial representation." According to Landau and Jackendoff, a spatial representation consists of levels of "mental representation devoted to encoding the geometric properties of objects in the world and the spatial relationships among them" (p. 217). Thinking back to blind children, we can imagine that their concepts of spatial relationships might arise somewhat differently from those of sighted children due to their different range of experiences and interactions with the environment. We have no reason to believe that the spatial concepts are fundamentally different, only that due to the lack of vision, the 'fine-tuning' of these concepts may take longer than it does with sighted children. There is a view that is shared by several modern day researchers (e.g., Brown, 1973; Clark, 1973; Rosch, 1978) that children bring with them, to the task of language acquisition, an 'a priori' set of semantic-relational conceptual categories that are closely tied to language itself. Landau and Gleitman (1985) discuss findings from Rosch (1978), who found evidence to suggest that there are universal biases that influences our construction of certain middle level or 'basic' categories (ones that are more abstract than, for instance, 'specific colors' but less abstract then higher order categories such as 'animals'), in other words, blind children cognitively predisposed to discover the same concepts as do their sighted peers. Similarly, we are also assumed to share some 'primary' perceptual categories that guide us perceptually to discover 27 and classify the world in certain ways over others. For example, if a young child explores an object, he/she is more likely to categorize it according to shape than taste. This is directly tied to our language and influences how we learn about our world (see for example Clark, 1973, who discusses this view in relation to young children's word use). With these ideas in mind, we can confidently assume that blind and sighted individuals come to the task of learning spatial concepts with the same cognitive abilities and predispositions and, with the exception of vision, the same perceptual modes of apprehending the environment; however, the questions remain of the effect of lack of vision on the development of spatial concepts. We receive spatial information through several senses: vision, audition, and touch (haptic). Landau and Jackendoff believe that our spatial representations gather information from all of our senses; however, the representation itself is neither visual, aural, nor haptic, but spatial. If this is the case, we need to consider the effect of the lack of one of these senses; do similar spatial representations result in the absence of vision? This question is particularly important in light of findings such as those from Fraiberg (1977), who found that blind children's self-initiated motor behaviors such as walking and crawling were late to develop, and blind children do not reach towards sounding objects until about eleven months, while sighted children are reaching for objects based on vision by 5 months. Bigelow (1983) showed however, that searching behaviors based on sound were also later to develop in sighted children than reaching based on vision. Even if we consider that the age at which blind and sighted children develop reaching and searching based on sound stimuli is similar, it is important to 28 remember that sighted children begin to explore their environment by reaching and searching in response to visual stimuli months earlier. In the first few years of life, when basic concepts are being formed, blind children have a much more restricted experience with their environment than sighted children do. This may be related to Andersen, Dunlea, and Kekelis's (1993) finding that concepts of space seem to develop later than concepts of time in blind children. In sighted children, basic spatial concepts are easily observable and so tend to develop earlier than temporal concepts that are somewhat more abstract. They suggest that early on blind children learn to 'adapt' to their lack of vision and precociously explore temporal concepts such as past tense reference. As speakers, we use our "spatial" representations to allow us to talk about the things we perceive; in other words, there must be some direct link between our representations and the language we use to encode them verbally. It can then be assumed that if blind children take longer to acquire spatial concepts, due in large part to having different learning experiences than sighted children (haptic vs. visual and haptic), these children's use of spatial language might also be different (or delayed) compared to sighted children. Some background information is necessary at this point so we now go on to consider what must be acquired in order to be able to organize our spatial environment, as well as some implicit knowledge we seem to bring to this task. The reader is invited to think about the differences between blind and sighted children's opportunities to acquire this information. 29 Talking About Places Certain elements are necessary when talking about places: places (or regions) and paths, as well as reference objects. Three elements are required to place an object: 1) the object to be located (or figure); 2) the reference object (sometimes called ground); 3) their relationship. In English, noun phrases are used to encode both the figure and the reference object. A spatial preposition and the reference object together define a 'region' that is used to encode the relationship. For example, in the sentence, The frog is in the jar, the figure (the frog) is located in the region described by the prepositional phrase in the jar, and the region is described by the reference object (the jar) and the spatial relation expressed by in. In English, there are also verbs that encode spatial relations, such as enter (go into) and approach (go towards) (Landau & Jackendoff, 1993). However, in order to bring this task down to size, only spatial prepositions will be discussed below. When compared to the number of count nouns in English, the number of prepositions is very small. Landau and Jackendoff suggest that there are about 80 to 100 prepositions that we use to express spatial relations. This list includes simple prepositions such as in and on, compounds such as far from and on top of, and intransitive prepositions (often called adverbials) such as away and there. Landau and Jackendoff also include nonspatial prepositions in their count, such as since and until. Landau and Jackendoff believe that there are four factors that influence this paucity of classes of spatial relations. The first is the asymmetry between the figure 30 and reference objects, which sets the basic parameters for spatial relations. The three other factors concern the three key elements (figure, reference object, and region in relation to the reference object), and their geometric possibilities. These will now be discussed. Asymmetry of Figure and Reference Objects Our spatial relations are governed by asymmetry. We seem to learn very quickly, intrinsically, that the larger more stable object will be considered as the reference object, and the smaller less stable one will be the figure (Landau & Jackendoff, 1993). For example, we might say (1) but we would never say (2): (1) The pen is on the desk. (2) * The desk is under the pen. Even adjacency falls under this rule. Consider the follow examples: (1) The bicycle is next to the house. (2) ?The house is next to the bicycle. Landau and Jackendoff believe that "the organization of language parallels the organization of spatial cognition" (p. 225). They state that the anchoring of reference objects is critical for the building of our "cognitive maps," which in turn are reflected in our language. (The reader is reminded to think of this in light of a blind child's task of creating a cognitive map of the frog story, then using this map during the course of a story retell; the map that is created will strongly influence the child's use of language.) An example showing this influence on our language is reflected in a classic study by 31 Huttenlocher (1968, in Landau & Jackendoff, 1993) where both adults and children showed a preference, by responding more quickly and more accurately, for sentences where the figure (mobile) object was the grammatical subject and the reference (anchored) object was the grammatical object of a sentence. Subjects were asked to perform tasks as follow: (1) Make it so the (mobile) block is on top of the (fixed) block. (2) Make it so the (fixed) block is on top of the (mobile) block. Subjects were quicker and more accurate in the first case. Huttenlocher (1968, as well as Landau & Jackendoff, 1993) saw this result as the linguistic reflection of our cognitive spatial organization. Basically, we see that even young children have an understanding of the asymmetrical spatial representations in the world and are able to correctly interpret, as well as express, them. The generalization relevant to this study is that we can find evidence of spatial conceptualization in children's use of language; their language use should truly reflect the organization of their spatial concepts. Geometric Restrictions Another seemingly complex area involves the geometric restrictions that exist in our spatial representation. Only a few examples will be given in what follows to allow the reader to visualize the task that young language learners have, considering especially children without the support of vision. In English, certain prepositions require little detail; these include in, on, and under (amongst others). For example, for one object to be in another requires only that 32 the second one to have an interior, nothing more. On requires a little more specificity, where the reference object must possess either a surface (on a table) or a line (on the edge), or be an object with a definite boundary (a house on the lake). Developmentally, and crosslinguistically, these prepositions are acquired very early. Johnston and Slobin (1979) found that, on average, by age 3;3 these were firmly in place. Children then move on to acquire locative prepositions such as between, front, and back which are more linguistically complex because they involve more than one reference point. The mean age at which these were all produced, by English-speaking children was 4;4 (Johnston & Slobin, 1979). Landau and Jackendoff also discuss some prepositions that seem to have higher levels of linguistic complexity. One such example is the term inside. As opposed to in, inside requires that the reference object be or contain a bounded enclosure, e.g., one can be in or inside a cave, but one can only be in a lake (Landau & Jackendoff, 1993). One final example, discussed by Landau and Jackendoff, is the distinction between over and above. How do we differentiate between these two terms? Clouds can be both over or above the city; however, a table cloth can only be put above a table if it is found on a shelf above that table. In these cases, over is not restricted by contact with the referent object, where as above requires no contact with the referent object. Sometimes prepositional phrases mark an adverbial relation. With regard to the frog story, they are used to describe the protagonists' locative trajectories, for example, They found the frogs behind a log. Numerous different prepositional phrases were included in the narratives of 3-year-olds 33 and were used to describe either a change of location or a protagonist's movement for place to place (Berman & Slobin, 1994). The prepositional phrases of 3-year-olds were used with both transitive and intransitive verbs, but they favored the intransitive constructions, as in the following examples, hanging from a tree. going up the tree. Prepositional phrases can also be strung together with particles to create more complex forms, as in, coming from + behind the log, which Berman and Slobin found in the narrative of child aged 9;8. This stringing of particles and prepositional phrases was mostly found in children from five years old on. However, some younger children did use them in a redundant manner, for example, coming off + of the tree. Berman and Slobin concluded by stating that "particles and prepositional elements are highly salient and readily accessible to English-speaking children from early on in language development and use" (p. 161). One might ask how blind children learning these prepositions gain access to the specific interpretations of prepositions such as above, because limitations in blind children's experiences may lead them to some wrong interpretations. This can be exemplified by Landau and Gleitman's example of The Miss Piggy Teapot Problem'. They presented a blind 3-year-old (Kelli) with a Miss Piggy teapot. The bottom of the teapot represented all of Miss Piggy's body except for her head, which was the top of 34 the teapot. Miss Piggy had a hat on her head which was adorned with two glass cherries. As Kelli explored this teapot, she felt the two cherries and assumed they were Miss Piggy's eyes. Then she felt the bottom edge of the teapot lid, which was the bottom of Miss Piggy's head, and said it was Miss Piggy's mouth. There is nothing strange about her interpretation, but it was wrong. We can only imagine that this sort of situation might occur relatively often as blind children explore their environment. They are much more likely than sighted children, in this way, to wrongfully interpret an object or situation, and arrive at false conclusions. We can then pose the question of how it is that blind children overcome these obstacles and come to understand and use spatial notions such as distances. Distance and Relative Location Although there is some information on blind children's spatial knowledge, very few studies address the spatial representations that are directly relevant to the current study, namely children's understanding of distance and relative location. For example some research has focussed on the spatial representation of objects, and how blind children "discover, construct, and transform representations of objects" (Landau, 1991, p. 145). She found that the blind children in her study (18-36 months) systematically explored novel objects to gain information such as shape and texture. Another experiment by the same author showed that by age two and a half, following only brief haptic exploration, a blind child was able to recognize familiar geometric figures. She concluded that haptic exploratory activities which allow blind children to extract 35 important information from objects develops naturally and was found to occur in blind children from 18 months. Her findings are interesting here, only insofar as they remind us that blind children begin to systematically explore their environments later than do their sighted peers, who use vision to guide their early explorations, but then become expert at haptic exploration. Some research has focussed on blind children's mobility through familiar and novel environments (e.g., Landau, Spelke, & Gleitman, 1984). In a group of experiments, Landau, Spelke and Gleitman asked a 2-year-old congenitally blind child (Kelli) to make spatial inferences, i.e., to find new routes after having walked along specific paths between an array of objects. In this study, they used four target locations in a room (represented by Kelli's mom, a pillow, a basket, and a blanket), and walked Kelli directly to each one, always using her mom as the starting point. During testing, Kelli began at her mom and was systematically taken to one of the other targets, and asked to find her way to one of the two remaining targets. They found that Kelli was able to find these new routes between two targets. She was also able to make relatively accurate angular estimates of the relation between two targets by appropriately changing her direction of walking. However, they found that Kelli tended to somewhat overestimate the distances between two targets in trials with no objects (after having been familiarized with the targets present). Her error rate was calculated as being 27%, and her performance was reported to be "moderate to poor." The authors concluded that this child had a system of spatial knowledge that included abstract rules that "incorporate metric geometric information that can be used to guide navigation about 36 the world" (Landau, Spelke, & Gleitman, 1984, p. 226). So we see that by age 2, this child had working knowledge of her environment. However, her lack of vision made it so that distances were more difficult to judge than the location of objects. We might expect that this trend would continue even as the child grows older. For this reason, it will be of interest to examine blind children's conceptual representation of distance, in a task where the only information about distance is verbal. There is also some information on sighted children's development of distance estimation. One study relevant to the question at hand regarding blind children is by Cohen, Weatherford, and Byrd (1980). They looked at distance estimations by sighted children in both grades 2 and 6 (8 and 12 years old, respectively). The children were exposed to the 'environment' in question in one of two ways: 1) actively, by walking around, to, and from different targets, or 2) passively, from one point in the room, looking at the targets. (All the children were reminded to pay attention to the distances between objects during this acquisition phase). Then half of the children in each group were asked to actively recreate the environment (in a novel room with similar dimensions), and the other half were asked to do so passively by standing in one spot and directing the experimenter on how far to go. Not surprisingly, they found that children in grade 2 performed less accurately than those in grade 6. When children in the second grade learned passively and responded actively, they significantly overestimated distances. The sixth graders were equally accurate across all situations. Results showed that when the spatial information that was required to make their estimates was 'congruent' with the activity performed during the acquisition phase, the 37 younger children were more accurate than in the 'noncongruent' task. Cohen, Weatherford, and Byrd (1980) took these results to say that a flexible spatial representation results from an active acquisition experience of distance. These facts are important in light of the current study, where children were only exposed verbally (passively) to the spatial information in the story. Also, the fact that sighted 8-year-olds overestimate the distances between targets but that 12-year-olds no longer do, will be an important one to keep in mind. How do blind children's estimations compare with those of sighted children? Does their spatial representation of distance get better with age as it did for sighted children? This question cannot be answered at this point, but the current project will examine blind children's linguistic representations of distance and location in a story, as well as their ability to estimate these distances. Blind Children's Language Development In the last two sections on temporal and spatial relations, I have raised questions about how blind children's different experiences with the physical environment might lead to different paths of conceptual development and different understandings of linguistic expressions of temporal and spatial relationships. At this point it is useful to consider what is actually known about blind children's language development. For many years the literature on language acquisition by blind children reported that, due to the children's lack of vision, blind children's language was "deficient" and even "meaningless." More recently, researchers (Landau & Gleitman, 1985, and 38 others) have shown that blind children's language is far from deficient. The debate was ignited by the British empiricist John Locke (Landau & Gleitman, 1985; Mills, 1993). He believed that an essential prerequisite for language learning was experience. He also thought that the labels we use for visual concepts, (e.g., color) were meaningless to a blind child. Also, due to the very different experiences of the world he assumed these children had, he concluded that they must be acquiring language differently. Finally, he believed that the use of visual concepts in their speech meant that their language was meaningless and even deficient (Mills, 1993). Very few aspects of the language development of blind children have been studied over the years. Fraiberg (1977) found that the language development of the blind "progresses at a normal pace, though different skills may have ontogenetically differing significance for the two groups" (Dunlea, 1989, p. 15). For example, Fraiberg found that the blind children were precocious in certain areas (imitating words, jabbering expressively), while they were delayed, compared to sighted children, in other areas (combining two words). Landau and Gleitman (1985) found that the language of a group of blind children was indistinguishable from that of their sighted peers by the age of 36 months. They based their results on the content of the children's early vocabulary, the semantic roles they were able express in their early multi-word phrases, and their MLUs. In a review, Mulford (1981) found that young blind children tended to have early mastery of discourse sustaining devices, their early requests are usually to fulfil internal needs, they tend to ask a high proportion of questions, and their early vocabulary consists mostly of three types of words, 1) social words, 2) words 39 relating to the child's own body movement, and 3) routine phrases. Andersen, Dunlea, and Kekelis (1993) have found a number of differences in the language of blind and sighted children. They argued that several aspects of the language use, of "optimally developing" blind children, was different than that of their sighted peers. For example, they found that in blind children's object-related activities at the one word stage, there was an absence of sorting and classifying behaviors. This is significant since these early abilities are thought to underlie lexical categorization. However, Johnson and Kearns (1991) found that, in an experimental task, four blind children at the one-word stage demonstrated classifying behavoirs appropriate for that stage. Another difference that they found was that blind children tend to refer to themselves and the events they are performing, at a time where sighted children will talk about both themselves and external events. If this is true, than it is likely that blind children's exposure to the events of others, especially those that occur simultaneously with their own, may be significantly less than that of sighted children. Another interesting difference that Andersen, Dunlea, and Kekelis found was that blind children, unlike sighted children, very frequently referred to events of their past, rather then events of the 'here and now'. It is presumed that the children did so as a social communicative strategy, because present events were less accessible for them to talk about. Although this strategy does allow for social interactions, it puts the blind children at a disadvantage for learning to talk about the dynamic events of 'here and now'. Another difference involves the use of locative terms such as in and on. It appears that 40 early in blind children's language development, these are used as verb particles, such as put on hat, where as sighted children first use these as prepositions, for example in the bowl (Andersen, Dunlea, & Kekelis, 1993). One last difference between the language of blind and sighted children is that there seems to be a trend for blind children to develop concepts of time before those of space, and this trend seems to be opposite in sighted children (Dunlea & Andersen, 1992). This is worth noting with regard to the current study. In summary, blind children's language is characterized by delays in acquiring first words as well as two-word utterances, frequent references to themselves and their past events, possible misuse of some early locative terms, using a high proportion of questions, early mastery of some discourse functions, and vocabulary that is more restricted in range. All of the differences listed here were found in relatively young children in the early stages of language acquisition (Andersen, Dunlea, & Kekelis, 1993). Although there is a lack of information about blind children's later language development, we can presume that some of these early differences may continue as the children grow older. Echolalia Another area in which there is some information about blind children's language is with regard to their use of verbal repetition, or echolalia. The language of visually impaired children has been shown to typically involve a large quantity of verbal repetition. Fay (1973) summarizes two studies that have looked at echolalia in blind children. Results 41 showed that blind children often used echolalia in an autisticlike manner. One mother was quoted as saying about her daughter: "She's just like a parrot. If I say 'Betty, go and sit down like a good girl,' she will say 'Betty, go and sit down like a good girl,' and she'll do it but she'll say it also" (Fay, 1973, p.481). Schuler (1979) claims echolalia is not well defined. She explains that "the term 'echolalia' appears to be used loosely to refer to some not well specified type of repetition of words and phrases. Distinctions as to degree of repetition and comprehension are usually lacking as well as context sensitivity of the behavior" (p, 411). Prizant (1987) describes two different forms of echolalia, immediate and delayed. Immediate echolalia is defined as "a repetition following immediately after a model utterance" (p. 81). Both Prizant (1987) and Fay (1983) believe that this type of repetition could be the product of a 'short-term echoic memory'. On the other hand, delayed echolalia is defined by Prizant as referring to "utterances that are memorized and are repeated at a significantly later time, and therefore, may involve some type of long-term echoic memory processing" (p.81). Delayed echolalia often gives the impression that a child's language level is far beyond that of his or her actual creative and novel use of language. However, these memorized phrases are not used randomly, but are associated with specific routines, environments, or even people (Prizant, 1987). Prizant studied the linguistic development of one blind child from ages 1;11 through to 2;8, and found that while the amount of immediate echolalia constituted a high proportion of this child's early utterances (54%), the amount decreased to only 5% over the course of time. On the other hand, delayed echolalia increased from 8% 42 to 32%. The questions still remain, however, why echolalia occurs, whether blind children understand what they repeat, and whether echolalia has a role in language acquisition for blind children. Fay (1973) suggests that "immediate echolalia is most often associated with a severe language comprehension deficit and its occurrence in blind children reflects a normal human drive to speak" (p. 486). However, Prizant (1987) states that immediate repetition may also be used in a more communicative manner when there is some comprehension but the child is unable to formulate an answer. Delayed echolalia, on the other hand, has been found to have a number of communicative functions, from requesting action and labelling, to commenting and practising. These utterances are often produced in contexts not unlike those in which they were originally heard. Prizant (1987) explains that echolalia may play an important role in language acquisition. (There is a whole literature on the role of imitation in language acquisition, which is beyond the scope of this thesis. See, for example, Clark, 1977; Snow 1981). Before continuing along this line, some differences in language acquisition need to be addressed. Prizant (1987) discusses two types of "strategies" or styles of language acquisition, an analytic style and a gestalt style (see also Nelson, 1973; Peters, 1979). An analytic style is where children begin by using language for primarily referential functions (at the single word level), move on to combine two or more words, and later use multi-word utterances on the road to acquiring a complex language. In contrast, a gestalt style is where children produce unanalysed "chunks" of language with little comprehension, although the "chunks" are often used in appropriate 43 circumstances. The children do not know the internal structure of the "chunk," nor are they able to associate meaning to any if its parts. The acquisition of a rule-governed system requires analysis of the gestalt form. This pattern analysis is required for linguistic rule induction. Prizant (1983) used this notion to explain the language acquisition of autistic children. He looked at three concepts: gestalt form, gestalt style of language acquisition, and a gestalt mode of cognitive processing. The two first concepts have been discussed above. The third is the one that Prizant uses to differentiate autistic children's language from that of blind children. Autistic children use a gestalt mode of cognitive processing "in which events are remembered or retained with relatively little analysis" (p. 300). No such evidence is found for visually-impaired children (Prizant, 1987). Prizant concludes by listing possible reasons for the presence of gestalt-type language acquisition and hence gestalt forms in the language of visually impaired children. First, normal variation is present in the language acquisition of all children, children often use some gestalt forms on their way to a complex linguistic system. Second, Prizant asserts that blind children tend to have an early developmental delay with regard to language, associated with a more sophisticated rote memory for language allowing good short- and long-term retention of utterances. Third, there is an obvious lack of certain visual cues that aid language acquisition (e.g., pointing by adults to the item being referred to). Finally, characteristics of the language input that most visually-impaired children receive may increase the "risk" of developing a gestalt 44 style of language acquisition. Dunlea (1989) found that the parents of the blind children in her study used far more commands (Go sit down!) and far less referential language (Look, a dog!) than do the parents of sighted children. This may be the "risk" factor Prizant is referring to. However, Johnson & Kearns (1991) found that some parents did provide rich input that facilitated their blind children's language learning process. They also found that early words were not delayed due to blindness. In this case blind children's use of gestalt language styles would not clearly be explained. If we then go back and consider what is known about blind children, we can assume that if they use a gestalt style of language acquisition, they might show an early delay in producing new and spontaneous word combinations. But since they are not shown to have a gestalt cognitive style, they are able, once they have "broken the code", to catch up with the other children. If they still use a large quantity of delayed echolalia later in life, this might be the remnant of an early, and well developed, short-and long-term memory system. Holding word combinations "in the minds eye" may replace, to some extent, holding a scene in view. It will be important in the current study to consider both that fact that blind children use verbatim repetition in their language and that they may have a well developed memory. Summary When young sighted children, by about 3 years of age, listen to or tell a story based on a picture book, they create a representation of the story using, first of all, their world knowledge cued by the pictures and, secondly, their internalized narrative 45 schema. Blind children do not have access to pictures, and so can only be exposed to stories they hear. This becomes particularly interesting in a complex story such as Frog, where are you? in which a single picture portrays two simultaneous events which must be related in some kind of linguistic "package." Consequently, the children's only access to the relationship between two events, as well as the relative location of the protagonists and other reference objects, comes through being able to "unpack" and interpret the linguistic representation. In summary, the question is not whether blind children are able to conceptually represent a story that is told to them, but rather how they represent the story's complex spatial and temporal relationships. This research focusses on the linguistic means blind children use to express these temporal and spatial relationships as a window into their representations. Research Hypotheses The primary research goal is to examine blind children's narratives in terms of their linguistic representation of the temporal and spatial relations in the story Frog, where are you?. Based on the findings presented above, including the assumption that by the age of 3;0 blind and sighted children's language is indistinguishable (Landau & Gleitman, 1985), I aim first to examine blind children's conceptualizations about the temporal and spatial relationships in the complex search scenes of the frog story. More specifically, with regard to blind children's concept of simultaneity, the research 46 focusses on how they relate the simultaneous events in the story Frog, Where Are You?, as well as how they answer questions about the temporal relations in the complex scenes. The tense(s) used by blind children will also be examined as a complement to that of the temporal terms and relations. With regard to their use of conceptualization of the spatial relations, I am interested in their use of spatial terms and descriptions of relative spatial location and distance within their narratives. Specifically, I investigated the blind children's understanding of location of one protagonist in relation to the other) and distance, as expressed by their use of spatial markers (such as nearby, and not very far), as well as their answers to comprehension questions regarding the spatial relations in the story. A question preliminary to these analyses is whether the blind children told coherent narratives. A question relevant to interpreting the results of the analyses is the extent to which the blind children may have memorized the story told to them. The final purpose of this research is to contribute to the growing base of knowledge about blind children and their language development. Specifically, the hypotheses concerning the two main areas of focus are: 1. a) Blind children will use a variety of age-appropriate temporal terms to express the temporal relations in Frog, Where Are you?. b) However, considering blind children's limited exposure to the simultaneity of events, the notion of simultaneity as encoded in their narratives, as well as their answers to some comprehension questions, will be less well developed than 47 that of same-age sighted children. 2. a) Blind children will use a variety of spatial terms to express the spatial relationships in the story. b) Blind children will be less accurate than same-age sighted children in their descriptions of the spatial relations in Frog, Where Are You? c) Blind children will be more likely than same-age sighted children to overestimate the relative distance between the protagonists in the story. With regard to the secondary questions, I expect to find that: 3. Blind and sighted children will include equal proportions of Trabasso and Rodkin's (1994) plot components in their narratives, and at a global level their narratives will be perceived as equally coherent. 4. Both blind and sighted children will use an anchor tense in their narratives, most likely past tense. 5. Blind children will repeat more sentences they remember verbatim from the story than will the same-age sighted children. 48 C H A P T E R T W O METHOD Overview The main goal of this study was to determine how blind children conceptually represent the temporal and spatial relationships in the story, Frog, Where Are You? This was accomplished by examining the terms blind children used to express the temporal and spatial relations in narrating the complex scenes and events in the story. A secondary objective was to determine the global coherence of the children's narratives by analyzing their use of tense in their narratives — specifically whether they chose to use an anchor tense - as well as their inclusion of the main plot components of the story. Final goals were to determine the extent to which the blind children used memorized clauses while retelling the story and how the results obtained from blind children compared with those from age-matched sighted children. The study involved audio taping five blind children and five age-matched sighted children's retelling of Frog, Where Are You ? after they heard different versions of the story over the period of a week. The narratives were transcribed and analysed for temporal and spatial categories, anchor tense and plot units, and whether they contained clauses identical or close to the clauses in the written versions of the story. 49 Participants Narratives were collected from five blind children and the same number of age-matched sighted children. The blind children were originally selected by Dr. James E. Jan, Director of the Visually Impaired Program at Children's Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Center, from a large data bank of visually impaired children living in British Columbia, Canada. They received a letter explaining the project and requesting their participation, which was sent to them by Dr. James E. Jan. Some children had last been seen at the Children's Hospital several years ago; some addresses may have no longer been accurate and letters may not have actually reached some potential subjects. Consent forms were included in the letters, which the parents of the blind children could fill out and send back to the researchers. The age-matched sighted children were recruited amongst friends of the researchers. The children in the "blind" group who were selected to received a letter had to meet five criteria to be considered for the study: be (1) aged between 4;0 and 14;0 inclusive; (2) monolingual speakers of English; (3) free of known physical, mental, or emotional handicaps; (4) developing language normally; and (5) totally blind, or with only non-functional light perception. Criteria (3) and (4) were necessary due to the fact that a large majority of children who are born blind, or with a visual impairment, also have other handicaps (Jan, J.E. et al., 1977) and we wished to exclude such children from our project. All the age-matched sighted children met the criteria. Provided in Table 2.1 is a description of the two groups of children. The children in the study were between the ages of 7;5 and 10;4. There were three girls and two boys in each group. 50 TABLE 2.1 Age and Gender of Participants Group 1 : Blind children (BC) Group 2: Sighted age- and gender-matched children (SC) Child Sex Etiology of Blindness Age* Child Sex Age* (y;m.d) (y;m.d) BC1 f Eyes did not develop 7;4.26 SC1 f 7;4.27 BC2 m Leber's Amaurosis 8;2.7 SC2 m 7;10.10 BC3 f Under developed retinas 8;7.29 SC3 f 8;4.21 BC4 m Leber's Amaurosis 9;8.4 SC4 m 9;7.27 BC5 f ROP 10;4.4 SC5 f 10;4.6 Note: All the children were totally blind except for BC5, who had 20/240 vision in one eye. *Age given is the participant's age at the time the second narrative was elicited. The Story Scripts The story from Mercer Mayer's wordless picture book Frog, where are you? (1969) was used. Eight sightly different versions of the story were written, with special focus on altering the perspective taken when describing the complex scenes in the story (pp. 9 -12; see Appendix A for two example stories). It was necessary to create several different versions of this story mainly due to the fact that past research (e.g., Prizant, 1987) had shown that blind children tend to have good rote memory. If the children heard the exact same story several times, the possibility that the blind children (as well as their sighted controls) would simply memorize the story, increases greatly. Our aim was to examine their conceptualization of the story and thus different versions were created in hopes of minimizing verbatim retention. Care was taken to maintain the order of the pictures in the story, to allow some comparability with studies in which the actual wordless picture book was used. Because the story is long and complex, and the 51 task was a recall task, the deer scene — a scene that follows the search sequence -was eliminated from the written texts. Of the possible sixteen different ways that the story can be arranged, the narrator has the choice of first mentioning either the boy's actions, or those of the dog in each of the four "complex scene" pictures (9 through 12; Bamberg, 1987, p. 124). The structure of each of the eight stories is as follows (see Appendix B for a full story-by-story scenes and frames analysis): there are three scenes in this part of the story, each containing a certain number of frames. A scene consists of a group of events that are all related (e.g., the gopher scene involves all the events of the gopher and the boy). A frame is approximately equal to one picture (in the wordless picture book), or one event in a scene (e.g., the boy looking down the gopher hole is one frame in the gopher scene). The boy's adventure with the gopher (pictures 9 and 10) represent 'Scene 1', which contains 2 frames, each corresponding to one picture (i.e., scene 1, frame 1 corresponds to the boy looking in the gopher hole in picture 9, and frame 2 is the gopher biting the boy in the nose in picture 10). The second scene involves the boy and the owl, and also contains two frames (pictures 11 and 12). In the first frame (picture 11), the boy looks into the hole for the owl, and in the second frame (picture 12) the owl comes out and startles the boy, who falls out of the tree. Finally, scene three corresponds to the complete adventure that the dog has with the bees and their hive, including pictures 9 through 12. This scene includes four frames, from the first (picture 9), where the dog is sniffing at the beehive, to the fourth (picture 12), where 52 the bees are chasing the dog, after the bees' home was destroyed when it fell out of the tree. The sequence of the events in the created story texts closely follows the order of the pictures in the picture book (i.e., events from picture 10 are not discussed until picture 9 is done). Following this guideline, it is possible to tell the story with 16 variations in the sequence of the frames; that is, in each of the four pictures either the boy or the dog will be mentioned first. The 16 different story types were charted out, where story type 1 mentioned the actions of the boy first in every picture (i.e., pictures 9 through 12). Likewise, story type 16 always mentioned the actions of the dog first in every picture. In between, four story types mentioned the boy first three times and the dog first once. Labelled "boy-oriented" stories, these included story types 1, 2, 3, 5, and 9. There were also four stories that mentioned the dog first three times and the boy first once. These stories were labelled "dog-oriented" stories, and included story types 8, 12, 14, 15, and 16. Finally, some stories were equally weighted, with two mentions of the boy first and two mentions of the dog first. These stories, labelled "equally weighted" stories, included story types 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 13. We decided to include two boy-oriented stories (types 2 and 5), two dog-oriented stories (types 14 and 15), two equally weighted stories (types 7 and 11), as well as both story type 1 (all 'boy' first) and story type 16 (all 'dog' first), for a total of eight versions of the story (see Table 2.2 for more details). The different versions can be thought of as different people telling the same story to child each day; although each person would tell the same story, each story would be linguisticaly different from the next. 53 TABLE 2.2 Structure of the Eight Stories in Terms of Order of Mention of the Boy and the Dog Story Type Story Type 2 Story Type 5 Story Type 7 Story Type 11 Story Type 14 Story Type 15 Story Type 16 Picture # 9 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 Picture # 10 1 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 Picture # 11 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 2 Picture* 12 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 2 Note: '1' represents the order of mention where the boy was mentioned before the dog in the description of the events in that picture. '2' represents the opposite order of mention where the boy was mentioned after the dog in the description of that picture. Procedures for Data Collection All the children were visited individually in their own homes. The children met me and we spent some time talking together to put them at ease. The task was then explained to the children and their parents. The first version of the story was read twice to the child by the researcher, and after each reading the child was asked if he/she had any questions with regard to the story. The child was then asked if he/she was able to retell the story or wished to hear it one more time. When the child was ready to tell the story, the narration was audio taped and later transcribed and analysed as described below. The eight written versions of the story, all placed in a single binder, were left with the family for one week. The reason for leaving the stories with the families for one week was mainly so the children might become more familiar with the story. Bamberg argued (contrary to Berman & Slobin, 1994) that when children are given this opportunity, it 54 results in a better narrative sample. Since our task was slightly different (hearing eight different versions instead of looking at the same pictures), and more difficult (the children did not have visual support during the retelling task), following Bamberg's methos, the stories were left with the children for one week. Over the course of the following week, the parents were asked to read the different versions of the story to their child as often as they chose, though never to read a given version more than once consecutively. They were encouraged to read one story each night so that the child heard each version at least once throughout the week (i.e., the researcher read version 1, and seven versions were left to be read over seven days). The parents were told that they could answer any questions their child might have about the story, and that if their child had no questions not to be concerned, but were otherwise asked to stick to the script provided. They were also told that their child might want to discuss the story, and that it was acceptable to do so if it was upon the child's request. The parents were asked to audio tape each reading of the story using a Sony TCM-AP5V with internal microphone supplied by the experimenter. At the end of the week, the investigator returned to the child's home and ask him/her to once again retell the story "as best he/she remembered it." This story was also audio taped. Following the telling of the story, the child was asked some comprehension questions related to the important events in the story (see Appendix C). Three subtests of standardized tests were administered at this time: first, the Listening to Paragraphs subtest from the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamental 55 - 3 (CELF-3) (Semel, Wiig, Secord, 1994) was administered for comparison of paragraph comprehension with sighted age-matched controls, to determine whether each age pair was matched for story comprehension. Two memory tests were then administered. If we consider Prizant's argument that delayed echolalia requires a good memory, this may be a skill that the blind children have developed particularly well over the years. If their memory skills are superior to those of the controls, then we might expect more recalled sentences from the blind children. Both a linguistic - the Recalling Sentences subtest of the CELF-3 - and nonlinguistic test of memory -Auditory Sequential Memory subtest of the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (Kirk, McCarthy, & Kirk, 1968) - were administered. The narratives of the blind children, as well as those of their age-matched sighted controls, were transcribed, coded, and analysed as discussed below. The children's scores on the standardized tests were calculated and compared to normative data as well as with the scores of the age-matched controls. Transcription Procedures The narratives recorded on the first visit from all the children were transcribed orthographically. This task had two functions: first, it provided a baseline of the children's story telling abilities (i.e., whether they could perform the task), second, it provided an initial impression of the child's tendency to use remembered clauses. The narratives from all the children recorded on the second visits were transcribed according to the transcription format and conventions laid out for the CHILDES 56 database, which includes a main tier (the clause) and a number of dependent tiers (what is coded). The narratives were transcribed in standard orthography, and each line contained one main clause. The transcription criterion for 'a clause' was based on Berman et al.'s notion of the unified predicate, or "a predicate that expresses a single situation (activity, event, or state), including finite and nonfinite verbs as well as predicate adjectives" (Berman et al., 1986, p. 37). A single clause generally contains one subject and one verb (e.g., the boy looked for his frog). Two clauses may have the same subject (e.g., he thought/ he heard frog noises) or two subjects (e.g., the boy saw/that his dog was barking at the bees), but must always contain a verb . In cases where there were two verbs but one (often an infinitive) functioned as the complement of the other (e.g., he like to look for his frog) only the first verb was coded. However, a separate clause was created when the second verb seemed not to be directly associated with the main verb (e.g., the dog climbed onto the boy/to get out of the water). Coding and Analysis The main unit of analysis for coding purposes was the clause. Clauses were coded for verb tense (%ten:), conjunctions (%cnj:), time expression and temporal connectives (%tmp:), spatial markers (%spa:), as well as simultaneity and/or sequentiality (%evn:) of the complex search scenes. In addition, the plot components were coded using the entire narrative as the unit of analysis, and clauses in the search sequence (pictures 9-12) were coded for their degree of simularity to clauses in the input narratives. 57 Plot Components As the inclusion of plot components has a bearing on the global cohenrence of the narrative, these will be discussed first. Trabasso and Rodkin (1994) define plot as : "an abstract schema for the organization of a story" (p. 86). Berman and Slobin (1994) list three elements as being essential to the ability to relate the plot of a narrative as an integrated whole: 1) the onset of the plot, 2) the unfolding of the plot, and 3) the resolution of the plot. These categories seemed too vague, and so the children's narratives were analysed using the components laid out by Trabasso et. al (1992, in Trabasso & Rodkin, 1994). Trabasso & Rodkin (1994) state that events should be organized around a hierarchical "goal/plan" and should include the following: 1) the protagonist must begin by having a relation to an object, state, or activity (e.g., The boy and the dog find a frog and they decide to take him home and keep him as a pet), 2) the state of the relation between the protagonist and the valued object change, and this initiates a goal or goal/plan (e.g., The frog escapes. In the morning the boy finds that the jar is empty and begins to look for his frog), 3) the protagonist carries out actions relevant to altering the relation change (e.g., The boy looks for his frog in a gopher hole as well as in a hole in a tree), 4) the protagonist continues attempts to attain the goal in the face of failure (e.g., The boy doesn't find the frog in the gopher hole so he keeps on looking), 5) the protagonist's attempts finally results in the successful attainment of the goal (e.g., the boy finds his frog behind a log by a pond). 58 ' There are four categories of components in Trabasso et al.'s (1992, in Trabasso & Rodkin, 1994) framework which were used to analyse the children's narratives. These include 1) setting, 2) initiating events, 3) attempts, 4) outcome. Each category contains several components, and the more components that were included in a narrative the more coherent the narrative was considered to be as a whole. The question to be answered about the inclusion of plot components is: 1. Do the blind children's narratives include the same number of plot components as those of same-age sighted children (will the narratives from both groups be equally coherent?) TABLE 2.3 Plot Components Analysed Setting Initiating Events Attempts Outcome - introduce frog - take possession of frog - boy is asleep - frog leaves - boy wakes up - boy finds jar - realize frog is gone - search in room - look out window - outside - in hole in ground - in hole in tree - behind log - find or take frog Note: The vertical spacing in the table represents the time line in the story. 59 Temporal Analyses Verb Tense All verbs were coded for tense and aspect with exceptions explained above. Certain clauses, and their verbs, were excluded from coding. These included: 1) verbs that were obligatory complements of other verbs (e.g., in he liked to look at his frog only liked would be coded. 2) quotations attributed to the boy or other characters (e.g., in the clause and he said 'froggie where are you hiding' ?, only 'said would be coded); 3) false starts (e.g., in <but he was> and the dog licked the boy's face, the part in brackets would not be coded); 4) asides that the child directed to the investigator or that did not contribute to the frog narrative (e.g., Oh, I forgot a part, Can I begin now?). The questions to be answered about tense: 1. Do the children anchor their narratives in one tense? Which one? 2. If the children choose to use different tenses in their narratives, what purpose do they serve (e.g., distinguishing backgrounded from forgrounded information, marking episode boundaries) ? Temporal Terms Overall coherence of their stories was considered by analysing each child's use of temporal terms, based on Berman et al.'s major categories (1986, p. 21), summarized in Table 2.4. 60 TABLE 2.4 Major Categories of Temporal Markers Category Examples Deictic Time Adverb Temporal Time Adverb (making reference to some external time) Sequentiality Marker (temporal expressions that mark sequentiality or simultaneity) now, today, yesterday, one-night, last week, soon, a-long-time-ago. in-the-summer, at-night-time, on-Saturday, during-schooltime. first, then, and-then, later, afterwards, meanwhile, beforehand, in-the-end, finally, at-last. Subordinating Temporal Connective before, after, until, as-soon-as, while. Source: based on Berman et al. (1986, p.21) Bamberg (1987) explains that temporal markers can be used to create coherence by "ordering events so that they can be interpreted as taking place in some meaningful temporal and/or causal framework" (p. 105). In order to facilitate the coding process, these were separated into two groups: 1) conjunctions (e.g., and then, so, just then, but when), and 2) other temporal forms, including adverbials (e.g., once, still, at night time, meanwhile), and prepositional phrases (e.g., in the morning, after a few minutes.) The questions to be answered about temporal terms: 1. Is there a difference in the appropriateness of the temporal terms used by the blind and sighted children? 2. Did children in both groups use temporal terms appropriately with regard to the linguistic function of each term? 61 Temporal Relations The events that were coded for their temporal relationships are those that are contained within the events of the search scenes (pictures 9 through 12) as well as the initial search scene in the bedroom, where the boy is looking in his boot and the dog sticks his head into the empty jar. In other words, the events that were coded, numbered from 1 to 11, are listed below in the order in which they are depicted: 1) the boy looks for his frog in a boot; 2) the dog looks for the frog in the empty jar; 3) the dog sniffs at some bees and begin to get interested in them; 4) the boy sees a hole in the ground; 5) the dog barks at a beehive and/or jumps against the tree trunk; 6) the boy gets bitten on the nose by a gopher; 7) the beehive falls to the ground and bees begin to swarm out of the hive; 8) the boy looks into a hole in a nearby tree; 9) an owl comes out of the hole and startles the boy; 10) the boy falls out of the tree and lands on the ground; 11) the angry bees chase the dog. Immediately following two of the above mentioned events, the relation between those two events was coded as being either one of sequentiality or simultaneity, depending on the linguistic marking. The code $TEMP:SIML represented two events analysed as occurring simultaneously (e.g., 'The boy looked in the gopher hole. At the same time, the dog was barking at the bees', for these two clauses the code 62 $TEMP:SIML:4-5 would have been used). The code $TEMP:SEQUL represented two events occurring sequentially (e.g., 'The dog barked at the beehive and then it fell down', for these two clauses the code $TEMP:SEQUL:5-7 would have been used). The questions to be answered about the sequencing of events are: 1. How did blind children relate the simultaneous events described (from the equivalents of pictures 9-12 in the picture book), i.e., did they represent the events as happening simultaneously or sequentially, based on their linguistic markings? Are their results similar to those of the sighted children? 2. Were all the children consistent between their narrative and their answers on the comprehension questions, with regard to whether they thought the events occured simultaneously or sequentially? Spatial Analyses Spatial Terms and Relations The use of spatial markers was also examined to determine how the children are representing the spatial relations of the story, but especially those involved in the complex search scenes. The types of spatial terms that were analysed are found in Table 2.5. Landau & Jackendoff (1993) have separated the large number of prepositions into "categories": 1) regular (simple) prepositions, 2) compounds, which are combinations of words that function as a single prepositions in traditional grammar, and 3) intransitive prepositions, often classified as adverbs, these terms are used in similar TABLE 2.5 Categories of Spatial Terms T Y P E S T O K E N S Simple Prepositions in, on, behind Compounds in front of, far from Intransitive Prepositions away, downstairs, there Source: Based on Landau & Jackendoff, 1993. positions as prepositions but do not require to be followed by a noun phrase (as in intransitive verbs.) The questions to be answered about spatial terms/relations are: 1. What spatial terms did the blind children use in their narratives, and are they used in appropriate contexts. 2. Are the children in either group able to express the spatial relations not only between a protagonist and an object, but also between the two protagonists, as in, The boy could see that his dog, who was not far away, was still barking at the bees ? Memorized Clauses This analysis was performed on both the first and second day narratives. The first day narratives were included in this analysis in order to compare the amount of memorization after hearing a single version of the story with the amount after hearing eight version of the story. Only one section of the story was chosen to perform this analysis, namely the search sequence. The analysis began where the children first 64 mentioned one of the following: 1) the explicit mention that the boy and the dog would continue their search outside, 2) stating the fact that the boy and the dog were outside (dog following bees or boy seeing a gopher hole), or 3) mention of walking towards the nearby forest. The analysis ended where children mentioned one of the following: 1) that both the boy and the dog were safe once again (after having escaped from the owl and the bees), 2) explicit mention of not having found their frog and continuing the search (after the owl and bee episodes), or 3) mention of coming to a pond or slippery ledge. All the clauses that could be found between these two boundaries were included in the analysis with the exclusion of those that did not relate to the frog story, for example: BC1: I think I forgot some parts. Four data driven categories were created: 1) Complete Repetition, where the entire clause could be found verbatim in the input narratives. 2) One Change, where the child produced a clause that could be found but 1 contained one word that had either been added, changed or omitted, for example: BC2: they went to look for the frog, in the input narratives: they continued to look for the frog. 3) A clause containing the same idea could be found , but different words and/or sentence construction was used by the child. For example, the child's narrative, BC4: and he broke the bees' hive, 65 can be compared to the input narrative: the beehive fell to the ground and broke 4) Elaboration, where the child added a clause that cannot be found in the input narratives, for example: BC2: but the gopher said <oh please go away, I just woke up from my nap>! The gopher was very grumpy. The proportion of "memorized" clauses included in the search sequence by each child was compared. These proportions were also compared to the scores that the children obtained on the auditory memory tests. The questions to be answered concerning the memorized clauses are: 1. Were there any differences between the two groups in their use of "memorized" clauses from the story, as well as between the first and second day narratives, i.e., did the blind children use a greater amount of delayed echolalia, as has been reported in the literature? 2. Is there any relation between the scores that the children obtained on their auditory memory test and their use of "memorized" clauses? 66 C H A P T E R T H R E E RESULTS Overview This chapter presents the results of the analyses described in Chapter Two. The main analyses focussed on the children's use of temporal and spatial terms and relations. Complementary analyses focussed on the inclusion of plot components, anchor tense used, and the use of memorized clauses. The results obtained from the blind children were compared with those from age-matched sighted children. Unless otherwise noted, all analyses were performed on the children's narratives from the second session. Language Testing Before comparisons can be made with the narrative results, the appropriateness of the matches between blind and sighted children needs to be considered. All children were given the age appropriate Listening to Paragraphs subtest from the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals - 3 (Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 1994). TABLE 3.1 Standard Scores Obtained on the Listening to Paragraphs subtest of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals - 3. BC1 SC1 BC2 SC2 BC3 SC3 BC4 SC4 BC5 SC5 Age (y;m) 7;4 7;4 8;2 7;10 8;7 8;4 9;8 9;7 10;4 10;4 Standard Scores 13 13 9 10 10 10 15 13 14 12 67 This test was chosen as it requires children to listen to short stories and answer comprehension questions, which assessed whether they could understand the important information in the story (both main ideas and details). The results obtained are reported in standard score with a maximum of 20 and a normal range from 7 to 13 (see Table 3.1). All of the children scored within normal range. Results also show that the children were all adequately language matched with their same aged peers with regard to paragraph comprehension (see Appendix D for full results). Plot Components The children's narratives were analysed for their inclusion of the main components that were required to make the narrative complete and coherent, according to Trabasso and Rodkin (1994). Table 3.2 gives a general overview of the components included in each child's narrative. All the children included the two necessary setting and outcome components, six out of the ten children included all the five initiating event components, and five children included all of the six attempt components. In general, the sighted children included more plot components in their narratives than did the blind children. If an attempt was included in the narrative, it was also marked with purpose expect in the case of "looking in the hole in the tree." Three children (BC4, BC5, and SC2) neglected to mention that the boy was looking in the hole in order to find his frog and/or that he did not find his frog in the hole in the tree, thus omitting the purpose of that attempt. On a subjective level, the narratives that contained more of the main plot components also seemed more coherent and "storylike." <o CD > -•—» co l_ u_ ro 2 to ~c 0 O 0 CN CN CO m ™ CD 1X1 r -_ l _ . 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CD .c o CD c T3 CO C CD JZ T3 O CD C X CO LL O) c is CD CO (fl Si o CL • E CD Xi CD C L (fi E ° < co B T~ Si 3 fD < Q- £ CD E o o 3 O CO -*—* C L E CD CD T3 C z> c CD (fi - Q CO to ro C L CD TJ o .2 $ ro * ro £ CD ~ CO w w >, o o p. - ° 3 CD C L £ w to ™ ro .-^  E * % ° S ro CD 0 to *i §.« to CD (0 ro c CD c o C L E o o ro <o to CD O C CD -~ O £ ° -r (D 3 _ to CO CD E cl CD -4-O 1 C C CD O (0 4 3 p ro C L O CD - C c CD C L H E .-d CD O CD CD p > <j CD <0 - Q to 2 2 i > CD o a) ® 2 8 § o =6 0 5 ° c to .= < CD E CO CD o CD 69 The current results obtained can be loosely compared with both the adult and 9-year-olds' data from Trabasso et al. (1992, in Trabasso & Rodkin, 1994), remembering that the method of narrative elicitation was very different. Table 3.3 compares the proportion of narrators from the study by Trabasso et al. (1992) that included a particular plot component with those from the current study. TABLE 3.3 Proportion of Narrators Who Included Plot Components Trabasso et al.* Current Study Plot Components 9-year- Adults Blind Sighted olds Children Children Setting Introduce frog 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 Possession 1.00 0.90 1.00 1.00 Initiating Boy asleep 0.83 1.00 1.00 1.00 Events Frog leaves 1.00 1.00 1.00 0.80 Boy wakes 0.58 0.90 0.80 1.00 Boy finds jar 0.42 1.00 0.60 0.60 Frog is gone 0.92 0.90 0.90 1.00 Attempts In room 0.58 0.90 0.60 1.00 Out the window 0.75 0.90 0.20 1.00 Outside 0.92 1.00 0.80 1.00 Hole in the ground 0.75 1.00 1.00 1.00 Hole in the tree 0.75 1.00 1.00 1.00 Behind log 0.83 0.90 0.80 0.80 Purpose Total marked purpose 0.47 0.55 0.67 0.93 Outcome Find/take frog 0.75 1.00 1.00 1.00 Trabasso, T., Stein, N. L, Rodkin, P. C , Munger, M. P., & Baughn, C. (1992). 70 In general, the blind children's data (age range 7;4 to 10;4) is comparable to that of Trabasso's 9-year-olds'. An exception is the attempt in which the boy calls the frog out the window, where only one blind child (BC5) stated explicitly that the boy looked out the window and called for his frog (all of the sighted children did). The narratives the children heard included this event; an example (from narrative #1) is: By this time, the little boy knew the frog wasn't there, so he opened the window wider and leaned out, calling "Froggie, where are you?" Temporal Analyses Analysis of the children's use of temporal terms and constructions contributed to determining the children's understanding of the temporal relations in the story. Analysis of the children's use of tense also contributed to a general assessment of the quality of their stories. Verb Tenses As described in the previous chapter, the verbs from each narrative were coded for tense. The results of the analysis can be found in Table 3.3. The verbs forms that were found (with examples) are as follows: 1. Simple present: they bring him home to their house. 2. Present progressive: a little boy and a dog are playing in a forest. 3. Present perfect: the boy, he's found a whole in a tree. 4. Present participle: they kept on looking. 71 5. Simple past: they heard frog noises. 6. Past progressive: he was barking at it. 7. Past perfect: he had gone home. 8. Past participle: he was so startled. 9. Past passive: whose house was broken by the dog 10. Past progressive passive: he was being chased by the bees. 11. Modal: as fast as he could. 12. Infinitive: to hear better. The children in both groups used a variety of tense/aspect forms in their narratives, as shown in Table 3.4. The simple past tense was most commonly used, found 78% of the time (calculated from the total verb use of 806 verbs; range of use was 53 to 128 verbs for blind children and 55 to 99 for sighted children), followed by the past progressive and other past tense verbs (8.1% and 6.6%, respectively). The remaining verb tenses occurred far less often: total use of present tense was 3.1 %, and modals and infinitives represented 4.1% of the total verb use. Child SC1 used one present perfect verb, and SC3 used one past progressive passive; SC5 used two present participles. The first question to be answered was whether the children would anchor their narratives in one tense (present or past) or whether they would mix the two tenses. Table 3.5 shows the distribution of present and past tenses in each narrative, and also whether a dominant tense or a mixed tense approach was used. 12 O CO O o CD T -3£-to °> 8>-i CO 0 0 o m co o^ CN CD CO If) cn co CD CN N -O CO •<- CN cb CD CN N-^ CN CN h-0 0 0 0 CN co ° ; Oi co o CN CD 0 0 CD CN CO f. in Co" r~-Co" CO CN Co" r-Co" o~ CO CN CN ZL. CO CO Co" m CN Co" CO CN Co" CO ci CO CN CN, Co" o~ CO Co* in CN Co" o^ CO CN co CN CN, (%6" Co" cn i i o^ CN CN, CD co. Co" o~ 3, Co~ CO Co" o^ h-Co" CD co Co" ©~ 0 0 CO, m co CO 0 0 CO m cn CD CN CD CN < O -CO r-0 0 CN CN CO » CO ^ ' CO CO CN m iri oo oo CN • co co (%9 i CO Co" m (%8 CO in — - o * — N ~P - i - CO CO y—s ^o CO *— ^o i Co" CN CD CN, CO, Co" CO Co" o~ CN M; Co" CN Co" o^ Co" 0 s •c- CN Co" •r- CN CN CN T— in m oo CN in oo m ^ f CO CD m CD r«» m CD iri Q) C CO 0_ 0) > in CD S in cn 0) o i t 0_ 0_ CL E in . _ CO CO 0_ CD o > siv rfe 0) ssi in <D r> CO 0- O 0_ idal _> in in "t: in idal E. co 2 CO CO CO CO o 4— 0_ 0. 0_ 0. 0. 0_ 2 in xi i— cu > "co o r -73 All the present tense verbs were counted together, as were the all the past tense verbs (regardless of aspect.) Modals and infinitives were excluded from the count as they do not directly belong to either category (in instances that had both a modal and a verb marked for tense, the tensed verb was coded separately. For example, he might be hiding, was coded as containing a modal and a present progressive). TABLE 3.5 Summary of Dominant Tense in Children's Narratives a. Blind Children. BC1 BC2 BC3 BC4 BC5 % Present 4.1% 2.3% 3.2% 0% 12.6% Tense (3/74) (3/128) (2/62) (11/87) % Past 90.5% 96.1% 90.3% 96.2% 82.8% Tense (67/74) (123/128) (56/62) (51/53) (72/87) Anchor Tense PAST PAST PAST PAST PAST b. Sighted Children. SC1 SC2 SC3 SC4 SC5 % Present 2.4% 1.8% 0% 0% 4% Tense (2/85) (1/55) (3/75) % Past 95.3% 98.2% 89.9% 95.5% 92% Tense (81/85) (54/55) (89/99) (84/88) (69/75) Anchor Tense PAST PAST PAST PAST PAST 74 As can be seen in Table 3.5, all the children chose to anchor their narratives in the past tense. However, the fact that the percentage of present tense used was only zero in three cases, namely BC4, SC3, and SC4, is evidence of tense shifting in most narratives. We will now investigate the functions, if any, of these changes of tense. Tense shifting in the children's narratives performed a number of different functions. Three children (BC2, SC2, and BC3) used the present tense in either the first or the last clause of their narrative. These have the function of either introducing to the story, e.g., This story is Froggie, where are you?, or letting the listener know that the story has now ended, e.g., That's the end of my story. Two children (BC2 and SC5) shifted tense to mark an episode boundary, i.e., a place in the story where one scene ends and another begins, e.g., BC2: but in his boot there's, nothing so he saw the open window. Only one child (SC1) used the present tense to background the actions of one of the protagonists with respect to the other: SC1: So he keeps on barking and barking Meanwhile, while the boy was looking around he saw a hole. Finally, one child (BC5) presented all the setting information, i.e., what the listener needs to know before the point where the frog escapes, in the present tense. This is a sophisticated means to separate the actual story from the background information that needs to be given to the listener beforehand. BC5 converted to the past tense at exactly the right point, i.e., the event of the frog escaping. 75 BC5: This is the story of Frog, where are you? And it starts off where a little boy and a dog are playing in a forest... When the little boy and the dog were fast asleep, the little frog climbed out and jumped out the window. It should be noted that one child (BC1) used the present tense three times due to experimenter error, as seen in this excerpt: Researcher: What happens after that? BC1: The big frog gives one of his babies to the boy. And then he waves goodbye and says, thank you. Temporal Terms All the children's narratives were coded for their use of the four categories of time expression: deictic time adverb, temporal time adverb, sequentiality marker, and subordinating temporal marker. Table 3.6 presents the total number of time expressions in each category used by the children. As can be seen in this table, sequentiality markers were the most commonly used (83.5%), followed by subordinating connectives (7.3%), and deictic time adverbs (5.7%), with temporal time adverbs the least frequent (3.5%). All the children made use of at least one term from each of the four categories. The two groups show a relatively equal range and frequency of use of time expressions. The range is from 48 to 73 (average of 60.2) time expressions used, over 53 to 128 clauses, by the blind children , and 46 to 67 76 TABLE 3.6 Total Number of Time Expressions Found in Each Narrative Child Deictic Time Adverbs: Type (Tokens) Temporal Time Adverbs: Type (Tokens) Sequentiality Markers: Type (Tokens) Subordinating Connectives: Type (Tokens) BC1 5 (6) 1 0 ) 7 (40) 3 (6) BC2 2 (6) 1 0 ) 5 (60) 4 (4) BC3 1 0 ) 2 (2) 7 (41) 2 (4) BC4 1 0 ) 4 (4) 7 (50) 1 (1) BC5 1 (1) 3 (4) 6 (64) 4 (4) SC1 4 (4) 1 (D 7 (53) 4 (9) SC2 1 (1) 1 (1) 6 (41) 1 (3) SC3 3 (3) 2 (2) 10 (56) 2 (3) SC4 5 (5) 2 (2) 6 (44) 2 (3) SC5 5 (6) 3 (3) 6 (46) 3 (6) Total 13(34) 12 (21) 13(495) 6(43) (average of 58.4) time expressions used by the sighted children , over 55 to 99 clauses). Please refer to Appendix E for a full list of temporal expressions used by each child. Temporal Relations The expression of temporal relationships by the children was of interest with regard to the search sequence this story, in which there are a number of events that occur at the same time. The blind and sighted children were compared to determine whether they represented the events in similar ways, having received the same input. The children's 77 conceptualization of these events as occurring simultaneously or sequentially was measured by analyzing the temporal linguistic markings (e.g., lexical or aspectual) they used in their stories. While all the input stories (those read to the children) presented the adventures of the boy and the dog as occurring simultaneously, most of the children retold the story as though the events were sequential. The sighted children narrated some simultaneous relations, while the blind children were much less likely to do so, with one exception, BC5. In general, BC5's results followed more closely those of the sighted group. BC5 was the only child in the blind group who had some residual sight (20/240 in her left eye only). Andersen, Dunlea, and Kekelis (1984) and Johnson and Kearns (1991) found that blind children who have some residual sight, however small, tend to behave linguistically more as though they were sighted than blind. So, when BC5's results are presented along with those of the other blind children , this must be kept in mind. Two blind children provided evidence of simultaneity in their narratives: BC1 and BC5. All of the sighted children narrated at least one instance where two events occurred simultaneously. Five children used two clauses juxtaposed (without any temporal markers) to give the impression of a simultaneous relationship, for example: SC4: The boy saw a gopher, the dog saw some bees going to their hive, or used an additional conjunction, for example, SC1: so they looked for it. And the dog even stuck his head in a jar, and the boy even looked in his boots. In all other cases, an explicit temporal marker was used to present the two events as occurring simultaneously, for example: SC1: While he rubbed his nose, the boy saw his dog that the beehive had fell. Only four children (SC1, SC2, SC5, and BC5) used an aspectual distinction to mark a simultaneous relation, for example using the progressive aspect: SC1: and then the dog ran past the boy, who was falling down on the ground. or using the perfect aspect, as in, SC5: a gopher popped out and bit him on the nose and the dog had found a beehive. Four of the children (SC1, SC2, SC5, and BC5, all of whom have already been counted above) who did mark simultaneity , did so by "double-marking" the clause using both a temporal term and an aspectual change, for example, BC5: he was interested in them at the same time, the boy was looking down a gopher hole. The youngest sighted child even had two instances of "triple-marking, as in, SC1: So he (the dog) keeps on barking and barking. Meanwhile, while the boy was looking around... TABLE 3.7 The Children's Marking of Simultaneity (SIM) in Their Narratives. a. Blind Children Child Event Pairs Markers Used BC1 3+4 juxtaposed clauses BC2 none n/a BC3 none n/a BC4 none n/a BC5 1+2 juxtaposed clauses with and 3+4 at the same time + progressive 5+6 at the same time + progressive aspect 8+11 meanwhile Note: Event numbers are those that were used to code the events; see Temporal Relations' in Chapter Two. b. Sighted Children. Child Event Pairs Markers used SC1 1+2 juxtaposed clauses with and 4+5 meanwhile + while + progressive aspect 4+7 meanwhile + still + progressive aspect 6+7 just then 6+11 while + perfect aspect 8+11 meanwhile + perfect aspect 10+11 when + progressive aspect SC2 3+4 when + progressive aspect SC3 1+2 juxtaposed clauses with and 3+4 juxtaposed clauses with and 5+6 still + progressive aspect 7+10 juxtaposed clauses + progressive aspect SC4 3+4 juxtaposed clauses 7+8 juxtaposed clauses SC5 5+8 while + progressive aspect 3+6 juxtaposed clauses + perfect aspect 7+10 juxtaposed clauses + perfect aspect 80 The children's answers to comprehension questions about the temporal relations were compared to their use of simultaneity/sequentiality markers in their narratives. (See Appendix F for the full list of questions; however the relevant questions are list here for you convenience.) Q2: In his room, the boy looked for the frog in his boot. Where was the dog just then? (What was the dog doing? Do you think it was at the same time, or before or after?) Q5: What happened to the boy when the dog was shaking the tree where the bees lived? Did this happen at just the same time, or did one thing happen first? 09: What was the dog doing when the owl came out of its hole? (What was the dog doing when the boy fell on the ground?) Here, we were interested in seeing whether the children were consistent between their narratives and the comprehension questions, to be able to examine their linguistic abilities to represent (in a narrative) two events that they answered as having occurred simultaneously (in the comprehension questions.) The children were questioned about the relationship between three event pairs: 1) the boy and the dog searching in the bedroom (initial search events 1 + 2), 2) the boy getting bitten on the nose by a gopher and the dog shaking and barking at the beehive (events 5 + 6), and 3) the boy falling out of the tree and the bees chasing the dog (events 10 + 11). All of the event pairs were presented as simultaneous in the stories, as illustrated by the following examples, Events 5 + 6: While the dog was leaning against the tree and shaking it, a gopher came out of the hole the boy was looking in and bit him on the nose 81 (narrative 3). Events 10 + 11: Just as the boy hit the ground with a thud, his dog came running by, chased by the swarm of angry bees (narrative 1.) Although the blind children were much less likely to present the events as occurring simultaneously in their narratives, they were just as likely as the sighted children to say the events occurred simultaneously when explicitly asked in the comprehension questions. Seven of the children responded that two of the three pairs of events in question occurred simultaneously, although the pair of events that was considered sequential varied: events 1 + 2 were picked by 2/7, events 5 + 6 were picked by 3/7, and events 10 + 11 were picked by 2/7 as occurring sequentially. SC5 responded that only events 5 and 6 occurred at the same time, while both BC3 and BC5 responded that all three pairs of events were in a simultaneous relationship. A comparison of the children's marking of simultaneity in their narratives to their answers they gave to the comprehension questions can be found in Table 3.8. The events that occurred simultaneously in the story were: Events 1 + 2: The boy looks for the frog in his boot and the dog looks in the jar; Events 3 + 4: The dog sniffs at the bees and the boy sees a hole in the ground; Events 5 + 6: The dog jumps and barks at the beehive and the boy gets bitten on the nose by the gopher; Events 7 + 8: The beehive falls to the ground and breaks, and the boy looks in a hole in a tree; Events 10 + 11: The boy falls out of the tree and the bees chase the dog. 82 TABLE 3.8 Event Pairs Marked as Simultaneous by the Children in Their Narrative/ Comprehension Question Answers Simultaneous Event Pairs Child 1 & 2 3 & 4 5 & 6 7 & 8 10 & 11 BC1 no/yes yes no/yes no no/no BC2 no/no no no/yes no no/yes BC3 no/no no no/no no no/yes BC4 no/yes no no/yes no no/no BC5 yes/yes yes yes/yes no no/yes SC1 yes/yes no yes/no no yes/yes SC2 no/yes yes no/no no no/no SC3 yes/no yes yes/yes no no/yes SC4 no/yes yes no/no yes no/yes SC5 no/no no no/yes no no/no Note: The cells that contain either a no or a yes that has been bolded represent an instance where that child was consistent between his/her narrative and answers on the comprehension questions. Only three pairs of events were tested in the comprehension questions, so the column with events 3 & 4 as well as events 7 & 8 were not included in the comparison. There are four possible combinations of answers in Table 3.8: 1) The child did mark the event pair as occurring simultaneously, in his/her narrative, and answered that the events did occur at the same time (bold V e s ' ) ; 2) The child did not mark the event pair as simultaneous in his/her narrative, and consistently answered that the events did not occur simultaneously when asked (bold 'no'); 3) The child did not mark the event pair as simultaneous in his/her narrative, but nonetheless answered that the events did occur at the same time. 4) The child did mark the event pair as simultaneous 83 in his/her narrative, however said that the events did not occur at the same time when asked. Some children offered evidence of having understood some event pairs as having occurred simultaneously and also marked them as such in their narratives (BC5 for two event pairs, SC1 for two event pairs, and SC3 for one event pair). Other children marked event pairs in their narratives as having occurred sequentially, and consistently answered the same to the question; these include four blind children (BC1, BC2, and BC4 each marked one event pair consistently as sequential, and BC3 marked two event pairs in this way), and three sighted children (SC4 marked one event pair as consistently sequential, and both SC2 and SC5 each marked two event pairs in this way.) The combinations of particular interest are when the children were not consistent between the narrative and answers to the questions. Some children did not mark event pairs as having occurred simultaneously in their narratives, but nonetheless answered that they did when questioned. This represents an instance where it seems that the child had perceived simultaneity from the narratives, but for whatever reason did not represent the events in a simultaneous relationship in his/her narrative. All the blind children have at least one such instance (BC3 and BC5 marked one even pair as not simultaneous in their narratives but answered yes to the questions, and BC1, BC2, and BC4 marked two this was), and four of the sighted children did (SC2, SC3, and SC5 each marked one event pair this way, and SC4 marked two event pairs this way.) The last combination was where a child marked an event pair as having 84 occurred simultaneously in his or her narrative, but when questioned about the relationship they answered that the events occurred sequentially. Only two sighted children have one instance each of this combination (SC1 and SC3). In summary, these results show that either the blind children's narratives or their answers to comprehension questions did not in every instance represent their understanding of the temporal relationships between events. For example, BC2 told simultaneous events 5 and 6 as follows: BC2: He wondered what that house was for. Then the bees came and he jumped up, going 'woof, woof at the beehive. Then the boy saw a gopher hole... But he answered the question: What happened to the boy when the dog was shaking the tree where the bees lived, by saying The boy was getting bitten on the nose. BC3 told simultaneous events 10 and 11 as: BC3: and then an owl came out of the hole where the boy was looking in and he flew around him scolding him. And then the dog was chased by the angry bees. She answered the question: What was the dog doing when the boy fell on the ground? by saying, The dog was running past him chased by a swarm of angry bees. On the other hand, in five instances the blind children's answers to the relevant comprehension questions confirmed linguistic indications in the narrative that the children had not represented the event pairs as being simultaneous. 85 Spatial Analyses The use of linguistic spatial markers was analysed to determine how the children represented the spatial relationships in the narrative. No special attention was given to the spatial terms and relationships in the versions of the story the children heard (i.e., we did not draw their attention to them); however, enough information was given for the listener to be able to create a mental representation of the environment in which the story was set. Some examples of the spatial representations in the stories are as follows: Their search soon took them to a nearby forest (narrative 2); Minutes later, the boy saw a gopher hole (narrative 4); They didn't walk very far when all of a sudden they can to a ledge ( narrative 6). How did the blind and sighted children use this information to tell their stories? Of particular interest is any instance where the spatial location of the two protagonists in relation to one another is stated. Spatial Terms Spatial markers were tallied in three categories, based on Landau & Jackendoff s (1993) classification of simple prepositions, compound prepositions, and intransitives. Table 3.9 presents category totals of the spatial markers that occurred in the children's narratives. Please refer to Appendix F for a full list of the spatial terms used by each 86 child. As is evident from Table 3.9, the children in both groups used a large number of spatial terms in their narratives. However, they used a larger proportion of simple prepositions (76.2%) compared to intransitives (20.3%), and both groups used very few compound prepositions (3.5%). All of the children used a variety of spatial terms, with a range of 14 to 22 different terms used. The results show that all the children have a good knowledge of the use of a r variety of spatial terms in simple clauses, for example: SC1: The gopher bit him on the nose (simple preposition.) BC2: He went over to another tree (compound preposition.) BC4: and then the owl flew away (intransitive.) TABLE 3.9 Children's Use of Spatial Terms in Their Narratives Simple Prepositions Token (Type) Compounds Token (Type) Intransitives Token(Type) Total Token(Type) BC1 29(11) 2(2) 3(3) 35(16) BC2 32 (13) 2(2) 5(4) 39(19) BC3 27 (11) 1 (1) 6(4) 33(16) BC4 25 (8) 2(2) 4(4) 31 (14) BC5 28 ( 11) 0 7(5) 34(15) SC1 34(10) 0 11 (4) 45 (14) SC2 20(10) 0 8(4) 29(14) SC3 36 (13) 3(1) 10(5) 49(19) SC4 32 (14) 2(2) 14(6) 49 (22) SC5 22 (8) 1 (1) 8(5) 31 (14) Total 285 (23) 13(8) 76(10) 374 (41) 87 However, only one instance of more complex uses of spatial terms can be found. The single case was: SC4: The boy saw a hole on the next tree behind the beehive. Here SC4 used a reference object, the beehive, to locate "the next tree" in the mind of the listener. Spatial Relations A central question was whether the children would use a spatial description to represent the location of one protagonist in relation to the other, when each was involved in a separate event. There are only three examples where the children directly related the location of the dog to that of the boy: BC1: He broke the beehive, their home. He went to the boy. SC4: Then the dog ran past the boy. BC4: And then he went back to the boy. Following the stories on the second day, the children were asked four comprehension questions about the spatial relationships in the story. (Again see Appendix C for a full list of the questions; however, the questions of interest are repeated here for your convenience.) Q3: Remember that the boy looked in a gopher hole? How long do you think it took the boy to walk to the gopher hole from his house? (How did you know that?) Q4: Where was the dog, when the boy was looking in the gopher hole? (How far 88 do you think the beehive/tree was from the gopher hole? Why do you think it was [what child said]?) Q 7 : Where did the boy find the owl? How far do you think the owl's tree was from the gopher hole? (How long do you think it took the boy to walk there?) Q8: How far from the owl's tree was the bees' tree? (If the boy was standing by the owl's tree, could the dog hear him if he called? If the boy was standing by the owl's tree could he see the bees' tree?) Q11: Did the boy and the dog have a long or short walk home? How long do you think it took them, if they went straight home? Most of the questions involved relationships that were not explicitly stated but that could be inferred from the input narratives. For example, where the children were asked how far the gopher's hole was from the bees' tree, they could have based their answers on hints from the input narratives such as, The tree was not far from the gopher hole, so the boy could see his dog sniffing at the beehive Among the questions, two involved estimating the amount of time it took the boy to walk - first, from home to the gopher's hole and, second, from the pond home; both of these questions asked How long? (Q3 and Q11). In this case, all the children with the exception of BC1 answered using an estimate in minutes (BC1 used steps). For the first question (how long to walk from home to the gopher hole), most of the blind children's answers clustered around an estimate of one to two minutes, with only one child estimating as many as 5-10 minutes. On the other hand, three of the sighted 89 children estimated 15 to 20 minutes, while the two others answered one minute. The answers to the second question (how far from the pond home) were far more varied. The blind children's answers ranged from 2 minutes to 10 minutes, and they all said that the boy had a short walk home. The sighted children's answers ranged from 2 minutes to 45 minutes, with only one child (SC4) stating that the boy had a short walk home (2 minutes), another (SC1) answered that the boy's walk was sorta long, sorta not and estimated 10 minutes, and the three others (SC2, SC3, and SC5) estimated the boy's walk as being a long one (15, 45, and 25 minutes, respectively). The second of three questions asked How far? (Q4, Q7, and Q8) with regard to the distance between the bees' tree and the gopher hole, the owl's tree and the bees' tree, and the owl's tree and the gopher hole. No distinct pattern can be found in this case. Five of the ten children answered with an estimate of time (two sighted children, three blind children), three gave an estimate in number of steps (two sighted children, one blind child), one gave a mix of time and steps (BC5), and finally one (SC2) estimated two of the three distances in number of feet. In the same way, their answers were relatively varied, although most of the children offered reasonable answers. The answers for the distance between the gopher's hole and the bees' tree ranged from 3 seconds to 2 minutes for the time answers, and 2 to 30 steps or 7 feet for the other answers. The distance between the owl's tree and the bees' tree was estimated as being between 5 and 45 seconds (except SC5, who estimated 5 minutes), or 5 to 19 steps. Finally, the estimated distances between the owl's tree and the gopher's hole were from 15 seconds to one minute (again, SC5's estimate of 15 minutes was quite 90 different from the rest), 6 to 35 steps, and 4 feet. The last set of spatial questions asked the children whether the dog could have heard the boy if the boy had called him, and whether the boy could see the bees' tree (and the dog) from the owl's tree. The sighted children all answered a confident 'yes' to these two questions. On the other hand, none of the blind children directly answered 'yes' when first asked. With regard to the question about the dog being able to hear the boy, BC1 confidently said 'no', and the four others hesitated and said 'probably'. With regard to the questions about the boy being able to see the bees' tree, three blind children said 'no' and the two other again answered 'probably'. There is a clear distinction in this set of questions between the answers of the blind children and those of the sighted children. Memorized Clauses Finally, the children's narratives were analysed for their use of memorized clauses. If, according to Prizant (1987), blind children use a large quantity of "delayed echolalia," it is interesting to see whether they did so in a case where several different versions of a story were told to them. The purpose of using eight versions of the oral story was to force the children to process the story and form a representations of it, rather than memorize it. Did they, in this case, retell memorized bits and pieces from all of the eight versions, or were they able to create a mental representation of the story and use this representation to create their own version? This analysis was restricted to the complex scenes the story analysed for temporal and spatial relationships. Both the first- and 91 second-day narratives were included in the analysis. The clauses that described pictures 9 through 12 were coded into four data-driven categories including, 1) complete repetition, 2) one change, 3) semantic equivalent, and 4) elaboration (see Chapter Two for more details). BC1's narrative was excluded from the analysis because there was no clear "story" within the search scenes. The first day task was somewhat demanding for BC1, who frequently included "I don't know anymore" or "I can't remember" in the narrative she offered. BC4 offered a first narrative that lacked several components, possibly due to the fact that he was distracted during the reading by a noisy sibling in the house. It is evident from Table 3.10 that the children used a fair amount of complete repetition as they narrated their first stories (20.2% and 14.5% by the blind and sighted children, respectively). A number of clauses were exact repetitions with only one minor change (32.6% and 17.9% by the blind and sighted children, respectively). Taken together, these two categories indicate a strong memory load. Only the two final categories (semantic equivalent and elaboration) offer clear evidence of the use of novel clauses. If the first two categories are counted together, the percentage of clauses in which memory for sentences played a major role increases to 52.8% for the blind children and 32.4% for the sighted children (in their first day narratives.) 92 TABLE 3.10 Distribution of Clauses in First Narrative a: Blind Children BC1 a 7;4 BC2 8;2 BC3 8;7 BC4 b 9;8 BC5 10;4 Total Complete Repetition0 - 7 (28%) 10 (28.6%) - 1 (4%) 18 (20.2%) One Changed - 8 (32%) 10 (28.6%) 1 (25%) 10 (40%) 29 (32.6%) Semantic Equivalent - 9 (36%) 11 (31.4%) 3 (75%) 13 (52%) 36 (40.4%) Elaboration - 1 (4%) 4 (11.4%) - 1 (4%) 6 (6.7%) Total # of clauses - 25 35 4 25 89 a BC1 did not offer a narrative that could be analyzed due to lack of coherence. b BC4 was distracted during the reading of the story, he offered a short first narrative. c Allowed noun/pronoun exchange, e.g., he/the boy, it/ the owl. d Exact repetition except for one element, e.g., tense, synonym, omission of one word. b. Sighted Children SC1 7;4 SC2 7;10 SC3 8;4 SC4 9;7 SC5 10;4 Total Complete Repetition 4 (11.8%) - 8 (22.9%) 6 (15.7%) 3 (11.1%) 21 (14.5%) One Change 7 (20.6%) 1 (9.1%) 9 (25.7%) 6 (15.8%) 3 (11.1%) 26 (17.9%) Semantic Equivalent 16 (47.1%) 10 (90.9%) 16 (45.7%) 24 (63.2%) 19 (70.3%) 85 (58.6%) Elaboration 7 (20.6%) - 2 (5.7%) 2 (5.3%) 2 (7.4%) 13 (9%) Total # of 34 11 35 38 27 145 clauses 93 TABLE 3.11 Distribution of Clauses in the Second Narrative a: Blind Children BC1 BC2 BC3 BC4 BC5 Total Complete Repetition3 23 (65.7%) 12 (37.5%) 18 (78.3%) 5 (31.3%) 17 (48.6%) 75 (53.1%) One Change" 9 (25.7%) 2 (6.25%) 5 (21.7%) 5 (31.3%) 14 (40%) 35 (24.8%) Semantic Equivalent 1 (2.9%) 11 (34.4%) - 6 (37.5%) 3 (8.6%) 21 (14.9%) Elaboration 2 (5.7%) 7 (21.9%) - - 1 (2.6%) 10 (7.1%) Total # of clauses 35 32 23 16 35 141 a Allowed noun/pronoun exchange, e.g., he/the boy, it/ the owl. " Exact repetition except for one element, e.g., tense, synonym, omission of one word. 0 b. Sighted Children SC1 SC2 SC3 SC4 SC5 Total Complete repetition 14 (35.9%) 3 (18.8%) 13 (31%) 11 (32.4%) 8 (27.5%) 49 (30.6%) One Change 9 (23.1%) 5 (31.3%) 9 (21%) 11 (32.4%) 3 (10.3%) 37 (23.1%) Semantic Equivalent 14 (35.9%) 7 (43.8%) 19 (45.2%) 12 (35.3%) 17 (58.6%) 69 (43.1%) Elaboration 2 (5.1%) 1 (6.25%) 1 (2.3%) - 1 (3.5%) 5 (3.1%) Total # of clauses 39 16 42 34 29 160 94 Even though the children heard a different version of the frog story every day, a large number of the clauses they used in their second narratives could be found in one of the eight versions that had been read to them. Again, considering that the first two categories (complete repetition and one change) involve a strong memory component, it is interesting to see that 78% of blind children's clauses fall within these categories. This result can be compared with only 53.7% of the sighted children's clauses that fell into the first two categories. Although a large number of the clauses used by sighted children fell within the semantic equivalent category (43.1%), a markedly lower amount of semantic equivalent clauses were used by the blind children (14.9%). When interpreting these results, it is important to remember that they are reported as percentages; when one category is high, another is correspondingly low. The last question we asked was whether the proportion of memorized clauses used was related to memory capacity. To answer this question, two "memory" tests were administered, 1) a linguistic Recalling Sentences task from the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals - 3 (CELF-3), and 2) a nonlinguistic 'digit span' test from the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic ability (ITPA-R). The children's scores for both tests are listed in Table 3.12 (see also Appendix G and H) and they are compared to the proportion of memorized clauses that the children used (Complete Repetition and One Change.) Scores on the Recalling Sentences subtest are reported in Standard Score (out of 20) with a normal range of 7 to 13; the Auditory Sequencing scores are reported in age equivalence (with a maximum of 10;3 since the test was not normed on children above that age.) There is no clear relation between the memory test scores. 95 TABLE 3.12 Scores on Memory Tests Compared to Percentage of Memorized Clauses Child Recalling Sentences: Standard Scores* Auditory Sequencing (Digit Span): Age Equivalence Scores Memorized Clauses: (%) of Repetition + One Change Categories, Second Day Narratives BC1 (7;4) 12 5;0 91.4% BC2 (8;2) 13 + 10;3 43.8% BC3 (8;7) 17 + 10;3 100.0% BC4 (9;8) 15 + 10;3 62.6% BC5 10;4) 9 6;3 88.6% SC1 (7;4) 12 5;6 59.0% SC2 (7; 10) 11 7;11 50.1% SC3 (8;7) 13 10;3 52.0% SC4 (9;7) 8 9;10 64.8% SC5(10;4) 14 6;10 37.8% *Maximum=20; normal range 7-13. and proportion of memorized clauses used. The expected relation was in the direction of increasing amount of memorized clause with higher memory scores. The opposite relation is found in some of the children where the children who scored lower on memory capacity, used a higher amount of memorized clauses (e.g., BC1), and children with the higher memory scores did not necessarily rely on their good memory skills in this task (e.g., BC2). These results are further discussed in Chapter 4. 96 C H A P T E R F O U R DISCUSSION Overview The results presented in Chapter Three are discussed in this chapter with respect to the research hypotheses, as well as previous research on temporal and spatial knowledge, information about narrative development (e.g., Berman & Slobin, 1994) and blind children's language development. The limitations of the current project, as well as directions for future research, are discussed. The main purpose of this study was to investigate how blind children conceptually represent the temporal and spatial relationships in the search scenes in Frog, Where Are You? (Mayer, 1969), demonstrated by their linguistic representation of the story. The temporal analyses, which included examining temporal terms used and the temporal relationships expressed (simultaneity vs. sequentiality), were performed in order to examine the children's understanding and linguistic representation of the temporal information that is contained in a story.The spatial analyses, including spatial terms and relations, examined the children's spatial concepts about the story and the ways in which they are able to linguistically represent these relationships in the retelling of the story. As a complement to the main analyses, the inclusion of plot components, as well as the children's use of verb tense and, more specifically an anchor tense, were analysed as measures of global coherence. Finally, 97 the children's use of memorized clauses was addressed to determine whether the children were able create their own version, or whether they repeated the story verbatim. The discussion will focus on the results obtained from the blind children, and their results will be compared with those from the group of sighted children where appropriate. Caveats The blind children that were selected for this study came from a list of all the blind children in the Province of British Columbia who were seen at BC Children's Hospital. Although there were more than one thousand blind children on the list, there were very few that met all the criteria for our study. Dr. James E. Jan, director of the visual impairment program at BC Children's Hospital, sent out seventeen letters, from which we received five responses. Some children had not been seen by Dr. Jan for a number of years and we suspected that many addresses were outdated, i.e., the letters may not have reached several potential subjects. All this resulted in a relatively small sample of blind children, which affects the generalizability of the results. Caution must also be taken when considering the results from BC5, since she has 20/240 vision in one eye, although she is completely blind in the other. Uncorrected, this did not allow her more than some light perception; however, she wears glasses that allow for some vision, although a very minimal amount. In comparing the narrative results from the current study to those obtained by previous researchers (e.g., Bamberg, 1987; Berman & Slobin, 1994; Trabasso & 98 Rodkin, 1994), one must keep in mind that the methods of narrative elicitation were somewhat different. Unlike previous research where the children always had the visual support of the pictures when telling their narratives, in the current study the children heard written versions of the story and then were asked to retell the story from memory. There was a possibility that the children might have omitted certain parts of the story due to memory demands, which was not a factor in previous research. For this reason comprehension questions were created, to complement the narrative production, as evidence of how the children understood the story and, especially the temporal and spatial relationships in the complex scenes. Given the small sample of blind children and the different method of elicitation, the conclusions that might be drawn from the data are only suggestive; however they begin to fill a gap in the literature that currently exists with regard to the language development of blind children over the age of 5. In what follows, I first address the spatial and temporal relationships that were found in the children's narratives, and compare these with their answers to the comprehension questions. I then go on to discuss the global coherence of the narratives by addressing the children's inclusion of plot components as well as their use offense and the presence of an anchor tense. Finally, the blind children's use of memorized clause is discussed and compared to that of sighted children. Each section begins with a restatement of the hypothesis relevant to the discussion. 99 Temporal Results Temporal Terms 1. a) Blind children will use a variety of age-appropriate temporal terms to express the temporal relations in Frog, Where Are You? It was interesting to note that although the children infrequently used the connector and then, which was found by Berman & Slobin (1994) to decrease in use as children grow from age five to nine, the children in the current study very frequently used the connector and, which was favored mostly by the 5-year-olds in Berman & Slobin's study. The unexpectedly frequent use of the connector and may have been due to the task the children were performing — retelling a story from memory rather than from pictures. Silva (1991) found that 9-year-olds used the connectors when more than while, and that they did not yet use as. Although all the children except BC4 used when, only one blind child (BC2), and three sighted children (SC1, SC4, and SC5), used while. Also, only BC5 and SC1 used the marker meanwhile. None of the children used as in their narratives. Silva's results, showing when is used before while and both of these are use before as, seem to be replicated here. Of interest however, is the fact that it was two of the younger children who used while, while some of the older children did not. Also, more sighted than blind children used these markers (when, while as well as meanwhile). This may be evidence that the blind children had some difficulty in linguistically representing simultaneity in their narratives. Also to be noted is that the terms that all the children did use were appropriate. 100 In general most children used a fair range of temporal markers. However, one might speculate that the method of presenting the stories to the children may have artificially inflated their use. Recall that the stories - especially those told by the blind children -included a number of verbatim clauses. Nonetheless, the children must have had some understanding of the linguistic rules associated with these terms to have been able to use them appropriately in every situation. No differences were found either by age or between the two groups. This underlines two points: 1) the linguistic markers of temporal relations are within the competence of the children in the study, and 2) if there are differences between the blind and. sighted children's expression of temporal relations, they are not due to differences in repertoire of formal linguistic markers of temporal relations. Temporal Relations 1. b) However, considering blind children's limited exposure to the simultaneity of events, the notion of simultaneity as encoded in their narrative, as well as their answers to some comprehension questions, will be less well developed than that of same-age sighted children. Only two of the five blind children included any kind of simultaneity in their narratives (one of those being BC5, who used temporal terms and aspectual changes, and the other being BC1 with only one example of two juxtaposed clauses. On the other hand, all of the sighted children included at least one, and up to six, instances of simultaneity in their narratives. At this point it is unclear whether the children conceptually 101 represented the events as occurring sequentially, or whether they simply did not linguistically represent simultaneity in their narratives. We need to consult the comprehension questions in this case. It is interesting, however, that the sighted children not only included many more instances of simultaneity in their narratives than did the blind children, some also grouped event pairs as occurring simultaneously, even when they were not portrayed that way in the input narratives. This can be thought of in two ways, 1) the children really didn't understand the true relationships between the events that occurred, or 2) did in fact understand for the different versions that several events overlapped and attempted as much as possible to represent this fact. None of the blind children except for BC5 attempted to show that the events overlapped in any way. Whether this is due to lack of comprehension or production (or simply forgetting to mark simultaneity) cannot be determined at this time. The children's answers to the comprehension questions need to be consulted. The results of interest here are those where the children linguistically marked simultaneity in their narratives and consistently reported that the same events occurred simultaneously when asked the comprehension questions. Only three children fall into this category (BC5, SC1, and SC3). All three children used a fair amount of simultaneity marking in their narratives; however, BC5 was consistent on two (out of a possible three) occasions, and both SC1 and SC3 were consistent on only one occasion. It is difficult to know why most children reported at least one of the three event pairs as occurring sequentially in the comprehension questions. Two of the blind 102 children answered that the events of the boy looking in his boot and the dog looking in the jar did not occur simultaneously. Two other blind children answered that the events of the boy falling out of the tree and the dog being chased by the bees occurred sequentially. It should be noted that the sighted children also thought that only two of the three pairs occurred simultaneously. Three of the sighted children and four of the blind children thought that the events of the boy looking in the gopher hole and the dog shaking the tree did not occur simultaneously. Generally, there was more consistency between the narrative and the comprehension questions where the children thought the events occurred sequentially. All the blind children, with the exception of BC5, had one consistent 'no', where they both related the events sequentially in their narratives and answered that the pair of events did not occur simultaneously. SC2 and SC4 each had one consistency, and SC5 had two occasions where there was a consistent 'no' between the narrative and the questions. This may show some of the working memory load that this task requires. It is possible that the children were so busy listening to the content of the story (as is evident from their good scores on plot component inclusion) that they missed some of the smaller details (such as the linguistic markers of simultaneity used in the input narratives). Once can assume from the literature, that even when they were very young, the blind children attended to certain things and not other, as imply several theories of how we acquire language (for example, Clark, 1973; Rosch, 1978). There is no reason to assume that they could not (or would not) pick up on the same 103 concepts/ideas as do the sighted children. Taken together, it seems that although both groups exhibited relatively equal comprehension of the temporal relations in the complex scenes of the story, the sighted children were better able to express this linguistically in their narratives. Again, due to the fact the sighted children are likely to have more early exposure to stories, their story telling abilities may be better than those of their blind peers. The fact remains that this is a very interesting results and it warrants future investigation. If it turned out that the concept of simultaneity, and how events occur together, is late to develop in blind children it may be a concept that could be included in explicit teachings to these children earlier on (so that they do not fall behind their sighted peers.) It may also be the case that children interpret at the same time to include the same start and end points, rather than simple overlap, in line with the strict definition of 'simultaneity' rejected by Aksu-Koc and von Stutterheim (1994). Spatial Results Spatial Terms 2. a) Blind children will use a variety of spatial terms to express the spatial relationships in the story. Children in both groups used a variety of simple prepositions, ranging from 8 to 14 different ones. They also used compounds and intransitives (adverbs) to a lesser extent. However, there were no noticeable differences between the two groups or across ages. The children used between 14 and 22 different types of spatial terms. Of 104 particular interest was the children's conceptualization of the spatial relations between the protagonists in the story, so the discussion will now turn to the children's results on this point. Spatial Relations 2. b) Blind children will be less accurate than same-age sighted children in their description of the spatial relationships in Frog, Where Are You? It was surprising that almost none of the children included information about the relative location of the boy and the dog in their narratives. This is interesting for two reasons: 1) There was a fair amount of relational spatial information in the input narratives. The children were given several indications of the location of one protagonist in relation to the other (e.g., not far away, nearby, the boy could see the dog), and 2) None of the children appeared to have any trouble answering the spatial comprehension questions. It should be noted that some of the children seemed to 'think up' their answers as they were asked; however, their answers were generally compatible with the story. This may be another piece of evidence to show that a certain amount of processing must have occurred for these children to be able to answer the comprehension questions appropriately. One interesting point: going back to the previous discussion about blind children's concepts of what people can see, one question asked to the children queried whether the boy was able to see the bees' tree while he was at the owl's tree. While all the sighted children confidently said 'yes', three blind children said 'no' and the two 105 others responded only 'probably'. It is possible that this has to do with how far blind children think we can see, rather than how far the dog and boy actually were apart from one another. If, as Bigelow (1988) found, the blind children believed that the boy could not see what was out of easy tactile accessibility, it is possible that even though they believed that the boy was not far from the dog, the dog was nonetheless too far away for the boy to see. This question cannot be answered without knowing how far blind children think sighted people can see. 2. c) blind children will be more likely than same-age sighted children to overestimate the relative distance between the protagonists in the story. There were no other marked differences between the two groups with regard to the spatial relations, except for the fact that blind children's estimates seemed to be consistently lower (indicating less distance, or less time to get from one place to the next) than those of the sighted children. The only research in the literature was one group of experiments (Landau, 1991) that was performed with a 2 1/2-year-old blind child. Although Kelli often overestimated the distances between targets, not only was she performing a very different task, she was very young. We could only assume that the tendency to overestimate distances would persist as the children grew, especially in light of the fact that even young sighted children (in grade 2) tended to overestimate distance. On the other hand, it was the sighted children in this experiment who tended (in general) to give relatively large estimates, considering we used words like not far away, nearby, minutes later. This discussion (sighted children's overestimations) is 106 beyond the scope of this thesis. With regard to the blind children's low estimates, this may again have to do with accessible environments, and the blind children's interpretations of terms such as nearby and not far away. It is evident, however, that at some level, blind and sighted children have slightly different view about spatial relations. More research looking directly at blind children's representation of space within the unfolding of the events in a narrative would be informative. Plot Components 3. Blind and sighted children will include equal proportions of Trabasso et al.'s (1992) plot components in their narratives, and at a global level their narratives will be perceived as equally coherent. Most children scored well on the inclusion of Trabbasso et al.'s (1992, in Trabasso & Rodkin's 1994) plot components, which these authors consider a measure of global coherence. BC5, as well as two sighted children (SC1 and SC5), included all the plot components. BC2 and BC4 included twelve, BC3 included eleven, and BC1 included nine of a possible fourteen plot components. Four of the blind children omitted the event of the boy calling out the window for his frog, where their narratives went straight from the dog looking in the jar to his falling out the window. Interestingly, none of the sighted children omitted this event. It is possible that the blind children had a different concept than their sighted peers did of the places it might be reasonable to look for a frog. Bigelow (1988) concluded from her research that "It may be that children equate seeable space with space which is within easy tactile accessibility" (Bigelow, 1988, p. 107 66). Considering that blind children explore objects and environments mostly haptically, it is reasonable that they would not think that looking out a window was a reasonable place to look for a frog. Of course, this is merely speculation, which will be revisited in the section on spatial relations. In general, the blind children included slightly fewer plot components in their narratives, when compared to the sighted controls. The blind children's narratives were objectively (considering Trabasso & Rodkin, 1994), as well as subjectively, less coherent, although both groups did well when compared with Trabasso et al.'s data. The pattern of the proportion of plot components that the blind children included in their narratives followed that of Trabasso et al.'s (1992) 9-year-olds, while the proportions included by the sighted children more closely matched those of Trabasso's adults. (Recall that the age range of the children was 7;4 to 10;4.) The differences that were found among the blind children cannot directly be attributed to age. Although BC5 included the most components, and BC1 included the least (with the other three blind children falling somewhere in between), it is possible that these results are related to other factors, e.g., BC5, remembering that she has some minimal vision in one eye, behaved a lot like the sighted children, and BC1 was unable to sit still very long to listen to the story. The fact that the blind children's narrative were somewhat less coherent than those of the sighted children is interesting in light of Landau & Gleitman's (1985) findings. They stated that although blind children sometimes get a slow start with regard to language, by age 3 they have usually caught up with their sighted peers. At 108 this age, the language of both blind and sighted children, in Landau & Gleitman's study, was found to be indistinguishable. It is also interesting considering Anderson, Dunlea, & Kekelis's (1993) findings that blind children tend to talk about past events in their lives. If this is true of most blind children, we would expect that their ability to retell events in a logical and coherent manner would not be inferior to that of sighted children. On this other hand, it is also possible that if the sighted children are talking more about what others around them are doing, and they have broader exposure to stories in general, these factors played a role in this case. Since the children's interest in, and exposure to, stories and books was not measured, we can only assume that the sighted children are likely to have had earlier exposure to stories. I might add as an anecdote to the findings in this study that although BC5 performed more like the sighted children than the blind ones, according to her mother, BC5's favorite activity (besides riding her bike and bouncing on a trampoline in their backyard) was to listen to books on tape, which she did all day long. Apparently she would never get tired of them and loves to talk about the stories she is listening to. It is also possible that the blind children included fewer plot components due to the fact that as they get older and new demands are placed on their use of language, sighted children may have a greater number of self-initiated experiences where they sit by themselves and read a story, look at a picture book, or simply examine their environment. Blind children do have access to books on tape; however, their exposure to stories, and the unfolding of events, is often more restricted than that of sighted children. 109 Tense in the Narratives 4. Both blind and sighted children will use an anchor tense in their narratives, most likely past tense. All the children in this study used an anchor tense in their narrative, namely the past tense. This result is not surprising considering, 1) Berman & Slobin's (1994) results, which showed that by the age of five, most children used an anchor in their narratives, and 2) all the input narratives were anchored in the past tense. It would have been surprising if a child had not used an anchor tense, or narrated the story completely in the present tense. Even when children over 5 years of age tell the story from pictures (e.g., Bamberg, 1987; Berman & Slobin, 1994) - and thus have freer choice of anchor tense - they are most likely to choose past tense. If children switched tense, they switched to the present tense, since all narratives were anchored in the past tense. In all of the cases, the tense shift was used appropriately to mark a narrative function. These results are compared with those of Berman & Slobin (1994). They found that although all children in their 9-year-old group, as well as all but one of the adults, used an anchor tense in their narratives, they also used tense shifting "for switching temporal perspectives within an ongoing narrative" (Berman & Slobin, 1994, p. 134). They found that three of the 9-year-olds and eight adults shifted from their dominant tense either to mark a "local" function (e.g., sequence, where one event occurred in the past and the other was occurring in the present), or an "extended" function of emphasizing thematic organization of the story (e.g., presenting setting information, backgrounding/foregrounding one set of events 110 with regard to another, or marking an episode boundaries). Of the six children who used tense shifting (three from each subject group; BC1 was excluded from discussion), all of them used an extended function. The use of appropriate tense shifting by some children may imply that they processed the story as a whole, and are able to use different tenses as linguistic markers in their narratives. This might be the case especially for SC1, SC5, BC2, and BC5, who used tense shifting within their narratives (rather than to mark only the beginning or the end, as BC3 and SC2 did). Memorized Clauses 5. Blind children will repeat more sentences they remember verbatim from the story than will the same-age sighted children. Considering Prizant's (1987) findings that blind children use a large amount of "delayed echolalia" (considered to be unprocessed 'chunks' of language), it was important to see whether the children repeated the story verbatim or whether they were able to process it and retell their own version of the events. There was a marked difference between the two groups with regard to memorized-clause use during the elicitation of both narratives. Also of interest is the fact that both groups of children increased their use of memorized clauses from the first to the second narrative. On the first day, the blind children used a total of 52.8% of both complete repetitions and clauses with one change, as opposed to only 32.4% used by the sighted children. On the second day however, 78% of the blind children's clauses were coded as either a of complete 111 repetition or a clause with one change. Also, 53% of sighted children's clauses on the second day belonged in these two categories. Although, these results should not be directly interpreted as indicating that the story was not processed, the fact remains that blind children used more repetition than did their sighted peers. If we look across the age pairs, we find that in all cases except the pair of BC4 and SC4, the blind child used more memorized clauses then his/her aged-matched sighted peer. As a matter of fact, all children increased their use of memorized clauses from the first narrative to the second, except for BC2. Three of the five blind children (BC2, BC3, and BC4) scored higher than their matched peers on both of the memory tests administered. On the other hand, BC1 and BC5 scored either lower than, or equal to, their age-matched peers. However, BC1 and BC5 used a large number of memorized clauses on the second day elicitation. TABLE 4.1 Use of Exact Repetition and Clauses Repeated With Only One Change, As a Percentage of Total Clauses Matched Pairs 1 2 3 4 5 First day Blind Child n/a 60.0% 57.2% 25.0% 44.0% Narratives Sighted Child 32.4% 9.1% 48.6% 31.5% 22.2% Second day Blind Child 91.4% 43.8% 100% 62.3% 88.6% Narrative Sighted Child 59.0% 50.1% 52.0% 64.8% 37.8% 112 This may imply two things: 1) that some form of verbatim repetition is a strategy that the blind children develop regardless of their memory capabilities, and 2) that they only call on this strategy when the situation demands it, i.e., BC2 and BC4 who used less repetition on the second day than did the other three blind children may be more familiar with tasks such as the one in the current study, so that they did not need to use the strategy of memorizing the story. Summary In this study we were interested in examining whether blind children could conceptually represent the temporal and spatial relationships in the story Frog, Where Are You? The results suggest that the children did comprehend the relationships even though these did not appear in their narratives. There is, however, some evidence that the blind children in this study had slightly different concepts of the relationships than did their sighted peers. The blind children as a group performed similarly to groups of 9-year-olds from previous research (Berman & Slobin, 1994; Trabasso & Rodkin, 1994), although the age range of the current group was from 7;4 to 10;4. The blind children's narratives were less coherent and they included less temporal simultaneity than their sighted peers'. Nonetheless, both groups were equally capable, when asked directly in a question, to describe the spatial and temporal relations of the story as they conceptualized them. Also, the blind children's use of a larger number of memorized clauses may have affected their level of processing of the story. 113 Limitations of the Current Study There are several limitations to the current study. As mentioned at the beginning of the chapter, due to the small sample size, few generalizations can be made from the results. If more blind children's narratives could be added to the data, this would increase the possibility of being able to describe trends more confidently. Related to this limitation is the fact that the blind children in the current study were between the ages of 7;4 and 10;4. If it is true that by the age of nine, children's narratives are very similar to those of adults, as Berman & Slobin (1994) found in their study, it may be that some interesting developmental phenomena were not present in this group. Ideally the children would have ranged between 4 and 9 years of age. However, no parents of children below the age of 7;4 responded to our letter. Another limitation may be the method of elicitation used in this study. All the previous studies based on Frog, Where Are You? have used the picture book, which offers the children visual support during the retelling of the story. In the current case, the children had no support whatsoever during their story retell. For this reason, most results cannot be directly compared with those from previous research. The children were read versions of the story at least eight times before they were asked to retell it for the second time a week later. However, the task was not necessarily an easy one, as is evident from the gaps between what actually occurred in the stories and what the children understood as having occurred. Another possibility would be to describe the pictures to the children, e.g., / see a boy and a dog. The boy is sitting on a small stool at the foot of his bed looking at a 114 frog in a big jar. His dog is there with him also looking at the frog in the jar. etc. The children can be asked to construct the story from this information. In this case, they are not given the story and will definitely need to process it more than in the current study. In retrospect, the comprehension questions were not quite specific enough to be able to draw exact conclusions about the blind children's conceptualization of the complex scenes. In the future, the children should be asked a larger number and more detailed questions targeted specifically at all the event pairs in the story. Finally, due to the lack of information about blind children's general language development, it was difficult to draw conclusions with regard to the age appropriateness of their language use. More research is needed in this area. Directions for Future Research Directions for future research are somewhat related to the limitations of this study. The results obtained in this study are only preliminary. More blind children need to be tested before any true generalizations can be drawn from the data. It would also be of interest to add some younger blind children to the data, which would mostly likely offer some developmental information. Also, more needs to be known about the language of blind children beyond the age of 5 years before the data can be compared with that of the sighted controls. Finally, if at all possible, a different method of elicitation should be found, possibly describing each picture to the child and then asking them to tell the story, or using tactile models (e.g., puppets) during the telling of the story, which could be used by the children during the retelling as tactile (as opposed to visual) support. 115 REFERENCES Andersen, E. S., Dunlea, A. & Kekelis, L. (1993). The impact of input: language acqusition in the visually impaired. First Language, 13, 23-49. Andersen, E. S., Dunlea, A. & Kekelis, L, (1984). 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Mogford (Eds.), Language development in exceptional circumstances. East Sussex, U.K. : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, (pp. 150-164). Mulford, R. (1981). Talking without seeing: Some problems of semantic development in blind children. Unpublished Doctoral discertation, Standford University. 118 Nelson, K. (1973). Structure and strategy in learning to talk. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 38. (Serial no. 149). Peters, A. M. (1983). The units of language acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Prizant, B.M. (1987). Towards an understanding of verbal repetition in the language of visually-impaired children. Australian Journal of Human Communication Disorders, 15, 79-90. Prizant, B. M. (1983). Language acquisition and communicative behavior in autism: Towards an understanding of the "whole" of it. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 48, 296-307. Rosch, E. (1978). Principles of categorization. In E. Rosch and B. 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Cognitive Development, 7, 133-170. Weist, R. M. (1986). Tense and aspect. In P. Fletcher & M. Garman (Eds.). Language acquisition: Studies in first language development (2 n d ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 120 APPENDIX A Two of the Eight Versions Created of the Story Frog, Where Are You? (Mayer, 1969) Story 1: Type 1 Once there was a little boy who had a pet dog. They liked to play outside, in the garden and in a forest near their house. One day, they found a frog and decided he would be their pet, too, so they brought him home and put him in a big jar in the boy's bedroom. At night, just before they went to bed, they sat by the jar, and the three friends said goodnight to each other. That night, when the boy and dog were sleeping soundly, the frog quietly climbed out of his jar and hopped out the open window. The next morning, when the boy and his dog woke up, they saw that the frog was gone and they felt very sad. They thought he might be hiding, so they looked all around room. The boy even looked inside his boots. Meanwhile, the dog had looked inside the jar and-his head was stuck! By this time, the little boy knew the frog wasn't there, so he opened the window wider and leaned out, calling "Froggie, where are you?" The dog wanted to help, so he leaned out the window, too. But the weight of the jar, still stuck on his head, made him topple right out! When he crashed to the ground, the boy ran outside to see if he was hurt. The dog was fine, but he was so glad to be rescued that he gave the boy sloppy dog kisses, all over his face. "Silly dog," said the boy. Then he noticed that his glass jar was broken and he was upset. Now that they were outside, the little boy decided to continue the search for his 121 frog. He and his dog walked a little further from the house, toward a nearby forest where they played sometimes. There were so many places for a frog to hide! So the boy stood and called, "Froggie, where are you?" Meanwhile, the dog looked around and saw a swarm of bees flying toward their hive in a tree in the forest. The frog didn't come, so the boy walked toward the forest to look for him. He came to a hole in the ground and thought, "I wonder if my frog went in that hole." So he leaned over the hole and called, "Froggie, are you down there?" While the boy was looking for the frog in the hole, the dog got more and more interested in the bees, ran to their hive, and jumped up and barked at it. Back at the hole, a gopher popped out and bit the boy on the nose! But the frog wasn't there. Where should he look next? His dog wasn't helping at all. He was still barking at the beehive, by now so excited that he was jumping against the tree trunk and sniffing and barking. The boy rubbed his sore nose and thought about where to look next. Right at the edge of the forest he saw a big tree with a hole in it, a perfect hiding place! So he climbed the tree and sat on a branch right below the hole so he could see in. By this time, the dog had shaken the bees' tree so much that the beehive had fallen down to the ground, and the angry bees were starting to swarm out of their home. When the boy looked into the hole in the tree, he didn't see a frog, but he did see an owl, who flapped his wings and the startled boy fell right out of the tree! Just as the boy hit the ground with a thud, his dog came running by, chased by the swarm of angry bees! 122 As the boy stood up and rubbed his head, the owl flew around him, scolding him. Meanwhile, the bees got tired of chasing the dog, who slunk back, tail between his legs, feeling very sorry for himself because some bees had stung him. They still hadn't found their frog. "Let's walk a little further," the boy said. They were so busy looking for the frog, that they slipped off a low ledge into a pond below. Splash! They were both soaking wet. But wait! They heard frog sounds coming from behind a big log at the edge of the pond. "Shhh!" The boy told his dog. They crawled over the log as quietly as they could, and guess what they saw-their frog with his mate, looking very happy and proud. And then...a whole family of baby frogs hopped out of the bushes. The frog wanted to stay in the forest because he had to take care of his family, but he let one of his babies go home with the boy. The boy thanked the frog family and waved goodbye as he left to go home with his dog and new little frog. 123 Story 8: Type 16 Once upon a time there was a little boy and a dog. One day, while they were playing outside, they caught a frog. They brought him home and put him in a jar. That evening, the boy and the dog said good night to their pet frog and then went to sleep. At night, while the boy and the dog were asleep, the frog climbed out of his jar, jumped across the bedroom, and jumped out the window. In the morning, the dog and the boy woke up. They went to the jar and wanted to say good morning to the frog. But the jar was empty and the frog was gone. Where had the frog gone? The little boy and the dog looked everywhere for their frog. The dog stuck his head into the empty jar to see if the frog was there, but the frog wasn't in the jar. The boy shook his boots, but the frog wasn't there either. Then, the boy and the dog saw the open window. The boy ran to the window and looked out. He started calling for his frog: "Froggie, where are you?" The dog still had his head in the jar. He tried to get it out but it was stuck on his head. The dog managed to jump onto the window ledge, even with the jar on his head. He was looking out the window with the little boy, when all of a sudden he lost his balance and fell out the window. The little boy ran outside to see if his dog was hurt. He was happy to see that his dog was fine but he was also angry that the jar was broken. Now that they were outside, the little boy thought that his frog might have jumped out the window and was hiding somewhere nearby. The little boy called out for his frog again: "Froggie where are you?" Since his frog did not come when he called, he thought they might go look in the nearby forest. The boy and the dog liked to play 124 there a lot. Soon they were at the edge of the forest. The dog saw a beehive hanging from the branch of a tree, and started sniffing and barking at it. There were some bees flying around and the dog thought they were very interesting. At the same time, the boy saw a gopher hole and looked down into it. The boy called "Froggie, are you down there?" The dog was not helping to look for their frog because he was too interested in the beehive. Now he started shaking the tree, and some more bees came out of the beehive. While the dog was busy with the bees, the little boy got bitten on the nose by a gopher that came out of the gopher hole. "Ouch! That hurt!" said the little boy. Then the dog shook the tree so hard that the beehive fell to the ground. All the bees came flying out of the broken hive. They were furious with the little dog because he had destroyed their home. While the dog was looking at the broken hive and all the bees that were coming out, the boy saw a big hole in the next tree and climbed the tree to see if maybe his frog was hiding in the hole. Well those bees were not happy at all. They started to chase the little dog, who ran as fast as he could to get away from them. When the boy looked into the hole in the tree, he did not find his frog. Instead a big owl came out of the hole and spread its wings. The boy was frightened and let go of the branch he was sitting on. Just as the dog and bees came running he fell to the ground. The owl came out of the big hole in the tree and started to chase the little boy. The boy started to run away from the owl, but there were some rocks in the way. The owl flew over the boy's head and then the owl was gone. The little dog was also able to outrun the bees, and was walking back 125 toward the boy with his tail between his legs. So the boy and the dog were safe once again. But they still had not found their frog. Where could he be hiding? Then, the boy decided to go further into the forest to look for the frog. As they were walking along, they stumbled and fell into a small pond. The boy and the dog got all wet. The dog even climbed onto the boy to get out of the cold water. Then, as the boy and the dog were sitting there, they heard a sound coming from behind a big log at the edge of the pond. They sat up and the little boy put his hand to his ear to hear better. They crawled over to the log. The little boy told the dog to be very quiet. What do you think they heard? They started to climb over the log to see what was making that noise. There, on the other side of the log, the little boy and the dog saw their pet frog, and he had found a friend, another frog. All of a sudden, several baby frogs came jumping out from behind the bushes. The little boy and the dog were very surprised. They realized that their pet frog had a new family now, here in the forest. The frog wanted to stay with his family but gave one of his babies to the boy. The boy waved good bye to the frog and his new family. Then, the boy and the dog started to head home with their new baby frog. The boy and the dog were happy once again. 126 Appendix B Summary of Scenes and Frames in Pictures 9-12 The following is a break down of the sequence of the scenes and frames according to Bamberg's (1987) "Summary of Scenes and Frames in Pictures 8-12" (p. 123). Picture 8 is a setting for the scenes and will not be discussed in what follows. Story Type 1 Picture 9 The frog didn't come, so the boy walked toward the forest to look for him. He came to a hole in the ground and thought, "I wonder if my frog went in that hole." So he leaned over the hole and called, "Froggie, are you down there?" While the boy was looking for the frog in the hole, the dog got more and more interested in the bees, ran to their hive, and jumped up and barked at it. [Scene 1, frame 1; Scene 3 frame 1 ] Picture 10 Back at the hole, a gopher popped out and bit the boy on the nose! But the frog wasn't there. Where should he look next? His dog wasn't helping at all. He was still barking at the beehive, by now so excited that he was jumping against the tree trunk and sniffing and barking. [Scene 1, frame 2; Scene 3 frame 2] Picture 11 The boy rubbed his sore nose and thought about where to look next. Right at the edge 127 of the forest he saw a big tree with a hole in it, a perfect hiding place! So he climbed the tree and sat on a branch right below the hole so he could see in. By this time, the dog had shaken the bees' tree so much that the beehive had fallen down to the ground, and the angry bees were starting to swarm out of their home. [Scene 2, frame 1; Scene 3 frame 3] Picture 12 When the boy looked into the hole in the tree, he didn't see a frog, but he did see an owl, who flapped his wings and the startled boy fell right out of the tree! Just as the boy hit the ground with a thud, his dog came running by, chased by the swarm of angry bees! [Scene 2, frame 2; Scene 3, frame 4] Story Type 2 Picture 9 The boy didn't notice the bees, but he did notice a hole in the ground. "If I were a frog," he thought, "I might hide in that hole." So he put his face down close to the hole and called, "Frog, are you hiding in there? Froggie, come out!" Meanwhile, the dog had followed the bees to their hive, which was hanging from a branch in a tree not far away. He barked and jumped up, trying to reach it, but it was too high. [Scene 1, frame 1; Scene 3, frame 1] Picture 10 When the boy was calling his frog, he surprised a gopher in the hole, who stuck his 128 head out and bit the boy on the nose. "Ow, that hurt." If his dog had been there, he would have licked the boy's nose to make it feel better, but he didn't even see it happen. He was still barking at the bees, by this time jumping against the trunk of the tree. [Scene 1, frame 2; Scene 3, frame 2] Picture 11 Soon the boy felt better and started to look for his frog again. He walked farther and came to a big tree with a hole in it. What a good hiding place that would make! So he climbed the tree up to the first branch, which was right below the hole. He sat on the branch and peeked in, saying "Froggie, come out!" Meanwhile, the dog's jumping had made the beehive fall off its branch and it broke as it hit the ground. The dog watched with interest, but the bees didn't think it was at all funny, and they began to come out of their hive in an angry swarm. [Scene 2, frame 1; Scene 3, frame 3] Picture 12 Whoops! The dog was running so fast to get away from the bees, he didn't even see the boy who had been surprised by an owl that flew out of the tree hole where he was calling his frog. The owl flapped its wings, making the boy fall off his branch. [Scene 3, frame 4; Scene 2, frame 2] 129 Story type 5 Picture 9 They were soon at the edge of the forest and the little boy could see a gopher hole. The boy decided to look down into the hole to see if his frog was hiding there. He bent over the hole and called "Froggie, are you down there?" At the same time, the dog had found a beehive hanging from a tree branch. The tree was not far from the gopher hole, so the boy could see his dog sniffing at the beehive. The little dog started to bark at the bees that were flying around. He really wasn't helping the boy to find their frog. [Scene 1, frame 1; Scene 3, frame 1 ] Picture 10 While the dog was leaning against the tree and shaking it, a gopher came out of the hole the boy was looking in and bit the him on the nose. "Oh! That hurt!" said the little boy as he was rubbing his nose. [Scene 3, frame 2; Scene 1, frame 2] Picture 11 The boy looked around to see where else he could look for his frog. He saw a hole in a big tree nearby, and climbed the tree in an instant to look inside. The dog was still busy barking at the beehive. He must have been shaking the tree pretty hard because just then the beehive fell to the ground and all the bees came flying out. They seemed very upset at the dog. The little dog was sad because he broke the beehive. [Scene 2, frame 1; Scene 3, frame 3] 130 Picture 12 Meanwhile, the boy saw a big owl come out of the hole in the tree where he was looking for his frog. The owl spread its wings and scared the boy. He let go of the branch he was sitting on and fell out of the tree. The boy hit the ground just as the bees began to chase the little dog, who ran past the boy as fast as he could to get away from the angry bees. [Scene 2, frame 2; Scene 3, frame 4] Story Type 7 Picture 9 Minutes later, the boy saw a gopher hole. He got on his knees and looked down into the hole. He called "Froggie, are you down there?" Meanwhile, the dog found a beehive hanging in a tree. He thought it was very interesting. The dog started sniffing and barking at the beehive. He saw some bees flying around. "Maybe we could play together," he thought. [Scene 1, frame 1; Scene 3, frame 1] Picture 10 Then, the dog started shaking the tree and barking at the beehive. The beehive began to swing and some more bees came flying out of the hive. While the boy was looking down the gopher hole, a gopher came out and bit the little boy on the nose. "Ouch, that hurt!" said the little boy. [Scene 3, frame 2; Scene 1, frame 2] 131 Picture 11 Then, the dog shook the tree so hard that the beehive fell to the ground and broke. All of the bees came flying out. They were not very happy that the little dog broke their home. As a matter of fact, they were furious with him. At the same time, the boy continued to look for his frog, but where could he be? Then he saw a hole in a tree and climbed the tree to look inside. He sat on a branch and peeked into the hole. [Scene 3, frame 3; Scene 2, frame 1] Picture 12 Then a big wise owl came out of the hole and spread his wings. The owl scared the boy who fell off the branch. As the boy hit the ground he could see that his dog was being chased by the angry bees. The little dog ran as fast as he could to get away from them. [Scene 2, frame 2; Scene 3, frame 4] Story Type 11 Picture 9 Suddenly he saw a swarm of bees. Now that's really interesting to a dog! The dog even forgot that he was helping to look for the frog. He followed the bees all the way to their hive in the tree and stood below it, barking and jumping up as high as he could. Meanwhile, the boy was still trying to find his frog. As he walked toward the forest, he came to a hole in the ground, where he thought his frog might be hiding. He leaned over close to the hole and called for the frog. [Scene 3, frame 1; Scene 1, frame 1 ] 132 Picture 10 He didn't find his frog, but he found a gopher, who bit him on the nose! He rubbed his sore nose, but he still wanted to find his frog, so he tried to think where to look next. All this time, the dog was barking and jumping against the tree trunk to try to reach the beehive. [Scene 1, frame 2; Scene 3 frame 2] Picture 11 All that jumping made the hive fall right out of the tree. When it hit the ground, the bees swarmed out, ready for a fight. The boy, who had no idea what mischief his dog was up to, was still looking for the frog. He climbed into a tree that had a hole in it. Maybe his frog was in there. [Scene 3, frame 3; Scene 2, frame 1 ] Picture 12 As he looked into the hole, an owl, who was sitting inside startled him. The owl flew out, flapping his wings, and the boy fell right off the branch he was sitting on. He hit the ground just as his dog ran by, trying to get away from the angry bees. [Scene 2, frame 2; Scene 3, frame 4] Story Type 14 Picture 9 When they were at the edge of the forest, the dog saw a beehive hanging in a tree. While he looked up and sniffed to see what it was, the boy saw a gopher hole and 133 looked down into it and called "Froggie, are you down there?" [Scene 3, frame 1; Scene 1, frame 1] Picture 10 The dog had started to bark at the beehive and was now shaking the tree. As bees started to come out of the beehive and fly around the little dog, the little boy, who was looking in the gopher hole, got bitten on the nose by a gopher that peeked its head out. "Ouch! You bit my nose!" said the little boy to the gopher. "Have you seen my frog?" the boy asked the gopher. But the gopher just went back down his hole. [Scene 3, frame 2; Scene 1, frame 2] Picture 11 The little boy walked away from the gopher hole. "Where could my frog be hiding?" Not far away, he saw a big hole in one of the trees. "Maybe my frog is hiding there?" the boy thought. So he climbed the tree to look inside. The boy sat on a branch just below the hole and looked inside. As the little boy sat there looking in the big hole, the dog shook the other tree with the beehive in it. Then, plop! The beehive fell to the ground and broke, and a bunch of angry bees came flying out of the hive. They were furious with the little dog. [Scene 2, frame 1; Scene 3, frame 3] Picture 12 The little dog ran as fast as he could to get away from them. At the same time, a big owl came out of the hole the boy was looking in. It had big dark eyes and when he spread his wings the boy got scared and he fell off the branch he had been sitting on. 134 [Scene 3, frame 4; Scene 2, frame 2] Story Type 15 Picture 9 Some bees were flying by, and the dog got so interested in them that he forgot that he was helping to look for the frog. He followed them to their hive in a nearby tree, and jumped up to sniff it. He wagged his tail and barked and kept jumping up because he was so excited. But the boy was still trying to find the frog. Walking closer to the forest, he saw a hole in the ground. Could his frog be hiding down there? He got down on his knees and called into the hole, "Froggie, are you in there?" [Scene 3, frame 1; Scene 1, frame 1 ] Picture 10 Meanwhile, the dog was still barking at the beehive, so excited that he was jumping against the tree trunk. He didn't even notice when a gopher popped out of the hole and bit the boy on the nose! [Scene 3, frame 2; Scene 1, frame 2] Picture 11 The beehive swung back and forth in the tree and fell to the ground, and the bees swarmed out, furious that their home had been destroyed. But the boy didn't see what the dog was doing even though he was nearby, because he was still looking for his frog. He saw a hole in a tree and climbed up to see if his frog was hiding in there. He looked into the hole and called, "Froggie, are you in there?" 135 [Scene 3, frame 3; Scene 2, frame 1] Picture 12 His frog wasn't in the hole, but an owl was! It startled the boy and then it flew right out and made the boy fall off the branch he was sitting on. At the moment he hit the ground, his dog ran past him, followed by the buzzing, angry bees. [Scene 2, frame 2; Scene 3, frame 4] Story Type 16 Picture 9 Soon they were at the edge of the forest. The dog saw a beehive hanging from the branch of a tree, and started sniffing and barking at it. There were some bees flying around and the dog thought they were very interesting. At the same time, the boy saw a gopher hole and looked down into it. The boy called "Froggie, are you down there?" [Scene 3, frame 1; Scene 1, frame 1] Picture 10 The dog was not helping to look for their frog because he was too interested in the beehive. Now he started shaking the tree, and some more bees came out of the beehive. While the dog was busy with the bees, the little boy got bitten on the nose by a gopher that came out of the gopher hole. "Ouch! That hurt!" said the little boy. [Scene 3, frame 2; Scene 1, frame 2] Picture 11 Then the dog shook the tree so hard that the beehive fell to the ground. All the bees 136 came flying out of the broken hive. They were furious with the little dog because he had destroyed their home. While the dog was looking at the broken hive and all the bees that were coming out, the boy saw a big hole in the next tree and climbed the tree to see if maybe his frog was hiding in the hole. [Scene 3, frame 3; Scene 2, frame 1] Picture 12 Well those bees were not happy at all. They started to chase the little dog, who ran as fast as he could to get away from them. When the boy looked into the hole in the tree, he did not find his frog. Instead a big owl came out of the hole and spread its wings. The boy was frightened and let go of the branch he was sitting on. Just as the dog and bees came running he fell to the ground. [Scene 3, frame 4; Scene 2, frame 2] 137 APPENDIX C Comprehension Questions for Frog. Where Are You? Q1: At the beginning of the story, when the boy and the dog were asleep, what happened? (What did the frog do? Where do you think he went? Do you think it was far away or nearby?) Q2: In his room, the boy looked for the frog in his boot. Where was the dog just then? (What was the dog doing? Do you think it was at the same time, or before or after?) Q3: Remember that the boy looked in a gopher hole? How long do you think it took the boy to walk to the gopher hole from his house? (How did you know that?) Q4: Where was the dog, when the boy was looking in the gopher hole? (How far do you think the beehive/tree was from the gopher hole? Why do you think it was [what child said]?) Q5: What happened to the boy when the dog was shaking the tree where the bees lived? Did this happen at just the same time, or did one thing happen first? Q6: How long did the dog bark at the bees? (A long time or just a little? A few minutes or just a minute?) Q7: Where did the boy find the owl? How far do you think the owl's tree was from the gopher hole? (How long do you think it took the boy to walk there?) Q8: How far from the owl's tree was the bees' tree? (If the boy was standing by the owl's tree, could the dog hear him if he called? If the boy was standing by the owl's tree could he see the bees' tree?) Q9: What was the dog doing when the owl came out of its hole? (What was the dog doing when the boy fell on the ground?) Q10: What frog did the boy end up taking home? Q11: Did the boy and the dog have a long or short walk home? How long do you think it took them, if they went straight home? 138 APPENDIX D Scores on the Listening to Paragraphs Subtest of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals - 3 BC1 BC2 BC3 BC4 BC5 SC1 SC2 SC3 SC4 SC5 Raw Score 9 6 7 10 10 9 8 7 9 9 Standard Score 13 9 10 15 14 13 10 10 13 12 Confidence 11 7 8 12 12 11 7 8 11 11 Interval to to to to to to to to to to (68%) 15 11 12 18 16 15 13 12 15 13 Percentile 84 37 50 95 91 84 50 50 84 75 Stanine 7 4 5 8 8 7 5 5 7 6 139 CO CD > CO 1 ro z 0 SZ \— _c c 0 UJ l _ JJ X x: Q O Z LU < dd by < TJ CD CO CO E CD 1-ro L . o CL E 0 H LO o CO o CO CO o CO CN o CO o CO LO o CO O CO co O CO. CN o CO o CO CO z UJ o CO U J Q_ CN I I « — I I I •>— I I I I I I I I I I 1 I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I <*— I I I lO i i i i r N r i i i i i i 0 E CO c o CL 3 g CO CD TO .2> CO d) CD "° C 0 O O 0 0 O C C C C C o o o o o 0 CO $Z o ^ CO c c o > o 0 w W CO >> CO = C r- !£. 3 (0 CO </) (0 CD $ D CO CO -Jg o TS 0 Q CO _Q i _ 0 > TJ < 0 E i -LU Q CO LO CO CO CO CN CN CO i i i i i CO 1 1 CO T - CN CD CO CO I CO I CD I CO •tf T - T - CD c 0 c 0 0 w x: = M 5 0 C -C 13 > XI TO > XI 0 $ $ c CO 0 E J2> to .9 0 ro > c "2 c O C XI O (3° O fJQ 2 CO O 140 • i i • i i i i i • i i • i i i CM i i i i i i i i i i i i i i C C CD I O ~ (D t T3 i - CD CD C > ~ c O £ t 73 - K CD O CD CO ~ T3^.2 '" c r o i = i 3 X i c o . E 9 i o c o . E . E r o • i i (D E i_ w _ •£ -^v G o 5 o > H E < 0 co CM CN CM LO CM CN CD CD CM 1 S IO CM CM i i i CM ID O CO 1 CM 1 ' N" CM T -O O CM LO CO 1 1 1 ' T -CM T -CD CM LO O) Oi LO 1 CM 1 CO LO Is-o v n Tf CO •sr T - en co CM CM 1 CM CM i i i CO CD CM CM T - CO 1 CJ) 1 O) CO LO CM * * § j? ±3 5= TJ •>-? O 3 3 5 3 !» I I I I I I I I I XJ CO c o c Itr CO W «= I I I I ro w S l i 3 ro c r ;> CD CO O CO CD n -CD LO CO in CD O in o CD o N-o APPENDIX F Spatial Terms Used in The Narratives of All Children Type/Token BC1 SC1 BC2 S C 2 BC3 S C 3 BC4 S C 4 BC5 S C 5 Simple Preps out 7 9 3 4 6 10 7 7 6 9 in 4 7 10 7 10 11 8 7 3 6 on 4 7 3 - 1 1 3 2 1 1 into 2 3 1 2 1 3 2 1 1 2 onto 2 - - 1 1 1 - - - -to 4 - 4 1 1 2 2 4 7 -from 2 - - 1 - - - 1 - -up - 1 3 2 2 2 1 1 2 1 at 1 1 1 1 - 1 - 3 - -behind - 2 - - 1 - - 1 1 -around - 2 2 - 2 1 - 1 1 -near 1 - 1 - - 1 - - - -far - - 1 - - - - - -under - - 1 - - - - - - -through 1 - 1 - - - - - - -over - - - 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 past - 1 - - - - - 1 - -by - - 1 - - - - - - -with - - - 1 - 1 1 - - -off - - - - - 1 - - 2 1 across - - - - - - - 1 - -below - - - - - - - - 1 1 where 1 1 - - 1 - - 1 - -Compounds back to - - - - - 1 - - -everywhere - - 1 - - - - - - -close to 1 - - - - - - - - -over to - - 1 - - - 1 1 - -overlooking 1 - - - - - - - - -away from - - - - 1 3 - - - -all over - - - - - - - - - 1 up on - - - - - - - 1 - -Intransitives outside 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 3 inside - 1 2 - - - - - 1 2 down 1 4 1 3 - 2 1 2 1 -there 1 - - 3 1 4 - 6 3 1 home - 3 1 1 2 2 1 3 1 1 closer - - - - 1 - - - - -downstairs - - - - - - - - - 1 farther - - - - - 1 - 1 - -edge - - - - - - - 1 - -away - - - - - - 1 - - -Total: token 35 45 39 29 33 49 31 49 34 31 type 16 14 19 14 16 19 14 22 15 14 APPENDIX G 142 Scores on the Recalling Sentences Subtest of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals - 3. BC1 BC2 BC3 BC4 BC5 SC1 SC2 SC3 SC4 SC5 Raw Score 39 52 74 65 45 37 35 50 35 67 Standard Score 12 13 17 15 9 12 11 13 8 14 Confidence 11 12 16 14 8 11 10 12 7 13 Interval to to to to to to to to to to (68%) 13 14 18 16 10 13 12 14 9 15 Percentile 75 84 99 95 37 75 63 84 25 91 Stanine 6 7 9 8 4 6 6 7 4 8 143 APPENDIX H Scores on the Auditory Sequential Memory Subtest of the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities - R (1968) BC1 BC2 BC3 BC4 BC5 SC1 SC2 SC3 SC4 SC5 Raw Score 18 49 52 48 23 20 28 34 32 25 Scaled Score 29 50 1 48 29 30 37 40 36 31 Age Equivalence 5;0 >2 > > 6;3 5;6 7;11 10;3 9; 10 6;10 Age Norm: Raw Score 26 29 30 32 33 26 28 29 32 33 Note: This test was normed for children up to the age of 10 years - 3 months. Scaled Scores are transformations of Raw Scores such that at each age the mean performance of the subtest is equivalent to 36, with a standard deviation of 6. Age Norms considers the mean Raw Score for each age group. 1This symbol represents the fact that the score obtained is above that of the highest score reported for that age group. For example, for a child age 8;8, the highest reported raw score was 50, B3 obtained a raw score of 52 and thus no scaled score was available. 2This symbol represents the fact that the score obtained is above the highest normed score (i.e.: score is above that of the average obtained by children aged 10;3). 

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