Text structure and patterns of cohesion in narrative texts written by adults with a history of language impairment

Lynne Mortensen, Karen Smith-Lock, Lyndsey Nickels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines text structure and patterns of cohesion in stories written by a group of adults with a history of childhood language impairment. The study aimed to extend our knowledge of writing difficulties in this group by building upon a study that examined clause level phenomena (Smith-Lock, Nickels, & Mortensen, this issue). Ten adults with a history of Language Impairment and 30 control participants were asked to write the story of Cinderella. Stories were analyzed for their generic structure and cohesion resources, both of which contribute to the organization and coherence of a text. Results revealed that patterns of text organization at the level of generic structure and measures of cohesion did not distinguish the performance of writers with a history of Language Impairment from the comparison group. A wide range of lexico-grammatical skills was evident within the Language Impaired group, with few individuals with Language Impairment falling outside the normal range of performance. It is suggested that generic structure and cohesion are a relative strength in the writing of adults with Language Impairment, within the constraints of their lexical and grammatical skills.

LanguageEnglish
Pages735-752
Number of pages18
JournalReading and Writing
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

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narrative
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childhood
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title = "Text structure and patterns of cohesion in narrative texts written by adults with a history of language impairment",
abstract = "This paper examines text structure and patterns of cohesion in stories written by a group of adults with a history of childhood language impairment. The study aimed to extend our knowledge of writing difficulties in this group by building upon a study that examined clause level phenomena (Smith-Lock, Nickels, & Mortensen, this issue). Ten adults with a history of Language Impairment and 30 control participants were asked to write the story of Cinderella. Stories were analyzed for their generic structure and cohesion resources, both of which contribute to the organization and coherence of a text. Results revealed that patterns of text organization at the level of generic structure and measures of cohesion did not distinguish the performance of writers with a history of Language Impairment from the comparison group. A wide range of lexico-grammatical skills was evident within the Language Impaired group, with few individuals with Language Impairment falling outside the normal range of performance. It is suggested that generic structure and cohesion are a relative strength in the writing of adults with Language Impairment, within the constraints of their lexical and grammatical skills.",
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Text structure and patterns of cohesion in narrative texts written by adults with a history of language impairment. / Mortensen, Lynne; Smith-Lock, Karen; Nickels, Lyndsey.

In: Reading and Writing, Vol. 22, No. 6, 07.2009, p. 735-752.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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