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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The narrative abilities of a severely hard-of-hearing child McCullough, Carol H.


Telling a narrative is a complex task that requires the integration of two types of knowledge: cognitive knowledge of the real-world and linguistically transmitted sociocultural knowledge. Different narrative types require varying amounts of cognitive and linguistically transmitted sociocultural knowledge. It is of interest to find out if the structure of various narrative types is altered when language input is impaired in cases of congenital hearing loss, where it is expected that the acquisition of linguistically transmitted sociocultural knowledge will be delayed but cognitive knowledge will not. A 4-year-old severely hard-of-hearing child was asked to tell three different types of narratives: script narratives, personal narratives, and story narratives. The present study investigated whether or not there was a difference between the structure of this hard-of-hearing child's narratives and the structure of narratives reported in the existing literature on normal-hearing preschoolers. It was predicted that only narrative structures relying predominantly on linguistically transmitted sociocultural knowledge would be delayed in the hard-of-hearing child. It was found that the hard-of-hearing child had structurally similar script and personal narratives to those produced by age-matched normal-hearing children. However, contrary to the prediction, his story narratives were structurally more complete than those of age-matched normal-hearing preschoolers. These findings support the conclusion that only limited exposure to story narrative structure is needed in order to include components that require predominantly linguistically transmitted sociocultural knowledge.

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