Narrative Structure and Evaluative Language of Personal Narratives Shared by Urban Aboriginal Children in Taiwan

Wen Feng Lai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Labovian narrative theory is used to explore the personal narrative performance of five-year-old urban aboriginal children. Fifty-two participants with the same socioeconomic status (half aboriginal, half non-aboriginal) were recruited from 11 preschools in metropolitan Taipei, Taiwan. Narratives were collected by interviewing individual children about past experiences. Interviews were conducted in Mandarin Chinese, tape-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. With ethnicity as the independent variable, the results indicated the following: (1) in structure elements, urban aboriginal children tended to use more evaluations and non-aboriginal children offered more complicating actions. (2) Urban aboriginal children outperformed their counterparts regarding structural level (approximately half in the leapfrogging level and one-third in the chronological level). (3) Regarding evaluative features, urban aboriginal children used significantly more intention terms, sensory terms, reported speech, and negations, and non-aboriginal children used more obligation terms. The discussion and implication are provided in relation to cultural differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2214-2228
Number of pages15
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Personal narrative
  • evaluative function
  • low socioeconomic family
  • narrative structure
  • urban aboriginal children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics


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