The development of autonomy in preschool mandarin chinese-speaking children's play narratives

Chien Ju Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to examine to what extent preschool Mandarin Chinese-speaking children can create an autonomous replica play narrative. Twenty-four Taiwanese children, 12 four-year-olds and 12 six-year-olds, participated in this study. The focus of investigation is on the linguistic resources (i.e., temporal and referential devices) the children use to maintain story lines and to mark shifts between types of talk in replica play. Developmental shifts are evident in these children's use of temporal and referential devices to build up a coherent play narrative. The fouryear-olds exhibit a great difficulty sustaining their narrative talk, making use of temporal devices, and managing reference in their replica play. The six-year-olds, in comparison, use clearer reference and more temporal and causal connectives, but their ability to achieve autonomy in play narratives is limited. Developmental differences found in this study, in general, accord with crosslinguistic results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-111
Number of pages35
JournalNarrative Inquiry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • History
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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