Article published in:Methodology of Narrative Study: What the first thirty years of Narrative Inquiry have revealed
Edited by Allyssa McCabe and Dorien Van De Mieroop
[Narrative Inquiry 31:1] 2021
► pp. 214–235
Narrative as cultural representation
An analysis of Japanese-language learners’ storytelling styles from the perspective of coherence and cohesion
This paper addresses issues related to narrative, cognition, and culture within the framework of foreign- or second-language (L2) narrative discourse, using a methodology of connecting the story- and language-related qualities of narrative discourse. The term “coherence” refers to whether or not a text makes sense at a global level, whereas “cohesion” describes the linguistic relationships among clauses in a narrative, such as how its surface linguistic elements are linked together at a local level. The paper (1) examines oral narratives, (2) reveals how both coherence and cohesion serve as the twin engines of narrative, and (3) emphasizes the significance of noting not only the narrative content/structure but also the appropriate use of linguistic devices, to identify language-specific ways of expressing affective elements in narrative. That is, the paper suggests the importance of developing conceptual understanding of L2 forms (e.g., grammatical variables) and their stylistic significance.
Keywords: L2 narrative discourse, oral narratives, Labovian methodology, macrostructural analysis, microstructural levels, first language (L1) transfer, perspective-taking, coherence, cohesion, voice, aspects
Published online: 17 November 2020
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