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The production of anaphoric reference in the written narratives of seven-year-old children: Analyzing the requirements for a computational teaching system based on a psycholinguistic model.

Lowe, Stefanie Ann (1994) The production of anaphoric reference in the written narratives of seven-year-old children: Analyzing the requirements for a computational teaching system based on a psycholinguistic model. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis brings together one aspect of language development, the production of anaphoric pronouns in the written narratives of seven-year-old children, with the design of technology appropriate for teaching using whole texts, and pedagogical goals involved in teaching mother-tongue language. A five-stage methodology is proposed for analyzing the requirements for designing a Mother Tongue Language Teaching System (MTLTS) and is used to generate an informal specification of requirements for a prototype system called PROTEUS. PROTEUS is a system for teaching seven-year-old children about the production of pronouns in written narratives. The analysis of requirements includes five stages beginning with the proposal of an adult model of pronoun production having a 'process' orientation. Experimental work is described in which written narratives were elicited and analyzed for the purpose of modelling pronoun production relative to the adult model. A psycholinguistic model of the production of anaphoric reference in the written narratives of seven-year-old children identifies heuristic production strategies which represent a gradual simplification of behavior. These strategies are found to be implemented within local units of text, and range from pronominalization of the only character a local unit of text is about, (by default, pronominalization in clause-initial position), to the emergence of a full-blown position conservation strategy. Children are also found to produce 'pronominal confusion' when they referred to interacting characters in less constrained environments; or, they avoided the use of pronominals altogether. A statement of pedagogical goals for PROTEUS is set out, followed by a review of manual and computational methods for teaching language. Finally, it is concluded that an electronic text should be used to teach about pronominalization, and a system model for PROTEUS, which could be mapped to a system implementation, is proposed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Language, Linguistics, Psychology, Developmental
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1354

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