The dimension of space has a special role in stories for children. Narrated spaces may be unknown or familiar, magical or realistic but they play a vital part in widening a child’s horizons beyond his own world. A writer of children’s stories has the task of orienting his/her young audience in a coherent and cohesive way as to the location of events in the narration and the varying aspects of movement within the tale. This paper examines one specific linguistic element that communicates direction or location: adverbials of space. The study first briefly examines the complex problems posed by the function of adverbials in general and the position they may occupy in the word order of a sentence. It then proceeds to distinguish between optional and obligatory adverbials. Next some considerations are made regarding the unmarked and marked word orders of space adverbials. It also examines the impact that marked space adverbials have on the information structure, from the point of view of thematic/rhematic organisation, the Communicative Dynamism and the Functional Sentence Perspective. The study then presents a statistical analysis carried out on a number of contemporary short stories for children. It aims at identifying any distinct patterns regarding the use of space adverbials, the type and frequency of sentence patterns containing such adverbials and the marking of word order with respect to space. It also considers the grammatical forms of the space adverbials found. Moreover, the analysis attempts to see if there is an identifiable scheme with regard to the relationships of space and the story’s information structure.

Story-scapes: Space adverbials in stories for children

COLES, ROWENA
2007

Abstract

The dimension of space has a special role in stories for children. Narrated spaces may be unknown or familiar, magical or realistic but they play a vital part in widening a child’s horizons beyond his own world. A writer of children’s stories has the task of orienting his/her young audience in a coherent and cohesive way as to the location of events in the narration and the varying aspects of movement within the tale. This paper examines one specific linguistic element that communicates direction or location: adverbials of space. The study first briefly examines the complex problems posed by the function of adverbials in general and the position they may occupy in the word order of a sentence. It then proceeds to distinguish between optional and obligatory adverbials. Next some considerations are made regarding the unmarked and marked word orders of space adverbials. It also examines the impact that marked space adverbials have on the information structure, from the point of view of thematic/rhematic organisation, the Communicative Dynamism and the Functional Sentence Perspective. The study then presents a statistical analysis carried out on a number of contemporary short stories for children. It aims at identifying any distinct patterns regarding the use of space adverbials, the type and frequency of sentence patterns containing such adverbials and the marking of word order with respect to space. It also considers the grammatical forms of the space adverbials found. Moreover, the analysis attempts to see if there is an identifiable scheme with regard to the relationships of space and the story’s information structure.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11576/2300048
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