Volume 12, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
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The study explores the effect of language dominance on microstructure, macrostructure, and Internal State Terms (ISTs) in narratives of Russian-Hebrew bilingual children and examines within-language and cross-language associations between narrative elements in two dominance groups. Narratives were collected from 38 Russian-Hebrew bilingual children aged 5;5–6;7 using the LITMUS-MAIN retelling procedures. The children were divided into L1-dominant ( = 19) and L2-dominant ( = 19) bilinguals based on performance on proficiency tests in L1/Russian and L2/Hebrew. The narratives were coded for microstructure measures: number of different words (NDW), total number of tokens (TNT), number of C-units (CUs), and Mean Length of C-unit (MLCU); and for macrostructure measures: Story Structure and Story Complexity. Ratios of IST tokens and types were calculated per C-unit. Children produced significantly higher NDW, TNT, and MLCU in L2/Hebrew than in L1/Russian. Scores on macrostructure measures and ratios of total ISTs were similar across languages. L1-dominant bilinguals demonstrated similarity between L1 and L2 for microstructure and IST types, whereas L2-dominant bilinguals produced more IST types in L2/Hebrew and had relatively few significant cross-language correlations. Findings for language dominance and cross-language differences are discussed for those narrative features which emerged as sensitive to these effects.


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