Chapter published in:Developmental Perspectives in Written Language and Literacy: In honor of Ludo Verhoeven
Edited by Eliane Segers and Paul van den Broek
[Not in series 206] 2017
Development of qualifiers in children’s written stories
In general, stories written by children in which many details are used are perceived as being more attractive. However, the use of stylistic elements in children’s writings has scarcely been described. We investigated stories written by 320 elementary school children from grades 3 to 6, focusing on the qualifiers they used to describe persons, objects and actions: names, relationships, intensifiers, adjectives and adverbs, sizes, prices, colors, details, and words to express modality, place and directions. The results showed a significant growth from grade 3 to 6 in the number of qualifiers. Dutch-L1 outperformed Dutch-L2 children in almost all these qualifiers. Girls used significantly more names, intensifiers, adjectives and adverbs in their description of persons, objects and actions than boys.
Keywords: qualifiers, stylistic development, written stories, children, elementary school, lexical variation, writing skills, gender differences in language
Published online: 21 December 2017
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