Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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This article argues for rethinking and reorientation in the study of narrative coherence and its development in young children. The most influential model guiding current research in this area (a) tends to equate narrative coherence with causal linkages between events and (b) suggests that the primary (or exclusive) strategy used by children to achieve coherence is to embed causally-connected event sequences in the goal-directed actions of a single major protagonist. Despite its undoubted contributions, this approach is misleadingly narrow in several respects, and it has not been able to reconstruct the actual dynamics and trajectories of young children’s narrative development. A first step toward overcoming these limitations is to undertake the foundational work of reconstructing and examining the range of actual modes and strategies of narrative coherence used by children, beginning with young children, which must include delineating the different narrative purposes and intentions these embody and the distinctive ways that they integrate events and event structures with the depiction and coordination of characters and relations between characters. I offer some theoretical and methodological proposals along these lines, illustrated with empirical examples.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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