Relating Events in Narrative: A Crosslinguistic Developmental Study

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $182.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 33%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (2) from $182.00   
  • Used (2) from $182.00   


This volume represents the culmination of an extensive research project that studied the development of linguistic form/function relations in narrative discourse. It is unique in the extent of data which it analyzes—more than 250 texts from children and adults speaking five different languages—and in its crosslinguistic, typological focus. It is the first book to address the issue of how the structural properties and rhetorical preferences of different native languages—English, German, Spanish, Hebrew, and Turkish—impinge on narrative abilities across different phases of development.

The work of Berman and Slobin and their colleagues provides insight into the interplay between shared, possibly universal, patterns in the developing ability to create well-constructed, globally organized narratives among preschoolers from three years of age compared with school children and adults, contrasted against the impact of typological and rhetorical features of particular native languages on how speakers express these abilities in the process of "relating events in narrative."

This volume also makes a special contribution to the field of language acquisition and development by providing detailed analyses of how linguistic forms come to be used in the service of narrative functions, such as the expression of temporal relations of simultaneity and retrospection, perspective-taking on events, and textual connectivity. To present this information, the authors prepared in-depth analyses of a wide range of linguistic systems, including tense-aspect marking, passive and middle voice, locative and directional predications, connectivity markers, null subjects, and relative clause constructions. In contrast to most work in the field of language acquisition, this book focuses on developments in the use of these early forms in extended discourse—beyond the initial phase of early language development.

The book offers a pioneering approach to the interactions between form and function in the development and use of language, from a typological linguistic perspective. The study is based on a large crosslinguistic corpus of narratives, elicited from preschool, school-age, and adult subjects. All of the narratives were elicited by the same picture storybook,Frog, Where Are You?, by Mercer Mayer. (An appendix lists related studies using the same storybook in 50 languages.) The findings illuminate both universal and language-specific patterns of development, providing new insights into questions of language and thought.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805814354
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Pages: 768
  • Lexile: 1490L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Contents: R.A. Berman, D.I. Slobin, Preface. Part I:Introduction. R.A. Berman, D.I. Slobin, Different Ways of Relating Events: Introduction to the Study. R.A. Berman, D.I. Slobin, Research Goals and Procedures. Part II:Development of Functions. R.A. Berman, D.I. Slobin, Narrative Structure. T. Trabasso, P. Rodkin, Knowledge of Goal/Plans: A Conceptual Basis for Narrating Frog, Where Are You? Part III:Development of Linguistic Forms. R.A. Berman, D.I. Slobin, Overview of the Linguistic Forms in the Frog Stories. R.A. Berman, D.I. Slobin, Development of Linguistic Forms: English. M. Bamberg, Development of Linguistic Forms: German. E. Sebastián, D.I. Slobin, Development of Linguistic Forms: Spanish. R.A. Berman, Y. Neeman, Development of Linguistic Forms: Hebrew. A.A. Aksu-Koç, Development of Linguistic Forms: Turkish. Part IV:Development of Form-Function Relations. R.A. Berman, D.I. Slobin, Form-Function Relations in the Development of Narrative. A.A. Aksu-Koç, C. von Stutterheim, Temporal Relations in Narrative: Simultaneity. L. Dasinger, C. Toupin, The Development of Relative Clause Functions in Narrative. R.A. Berman, D.I. Slobin, Filtering and Packaging in Narrative. M. Bamberg, V. Marchman, Foreshadowing and Wrapping Up in Narrative. Part V:Conclusions. R.A. Berman, D.I. Slobin, Implications. R.A. Berman, D.I. Slobin, Becoming a Proficient Speaker. R.A. Berman, D.I. Slobin, Becoming a Native Speaker. Appendices: M. Mayer, Pictures: Frog, Where Are You? R.A. Berman, D.I. Slobin, Glossing and Transcription Conventions. R.A. Berman, D.I. Slobin, Research Using Frog, Where Are You?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)