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Naming A World of Things – An investigation of the development of noun phrases in written expository discourse, from adolescents to expert writers

Gustafsson, Pia LU (2016) SPVR01 20161
General Linguistics
Master's Programme: Language and Linguistics
Abstract
One component in writing development is a more efficient use of syntactic tools. Later syntactic development, specifically that of the noun phrase, is an understudied area, notably so for Swedish. The demand for specified and concise information in an expository text, and the availability of more planning time in the written modality, are important factors contributing to more complex noun phrases. The aim of this study is to analyse noun phrase length, lexicality and complexity in age-related and expert development.
This corpus-based study consisted of 96 expository texts written by groups of writers 10, 13, 15 and 17 years old, by adult university students and by adult expert students. All NPs (N=8670) – at least one pronoun or lexical... (More)
One component in writing development is a more efficient use of syntactic tools. Later syntactic development, specifically that of the noun phrase, is an understudied area, notably so for Swedish. The demand for specified and concise information in an expository text, and the availability of more planning time in the written modality, are important factors contributing to more complex noun phrases. The aim of this study is to analyse noun phrase length, lexicality and complexity in age-related and expert development.
This corpus-based study consisted of 96 expository texts written by groups of writers 10, 13, 15 and 17 years old, by adult university students and by adult expert students. All NPs (N=8670) – at least one pronoun or lexical noun plus modifiers – were analysed as lexical or pronominal, simple or complex, and NP length was calculated. Finally, development was analysed over syntactic constituent (Subject, Object or Other).
Results show that NPs are significantly less pronominal, longer, and more complex in older age groups, and most saliently in the subject constituent. However, two important implications are that age-related development is not straightforwardly linear, and that expert development results in less complexity. Results are discussed with respect to the concept of writing expertise, written modality characteristics and general cognitive development. (Less)
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author
Gustafsson, Pia LU
supervisor
organization
course
SPVR01 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
later syntactic development, writing expertise, noun phrase lexicality, noun phrase length, noun phrase complexity
language
English
id
8895490
date added to LUP
2017-01-17 14:34:45
date last changed
2017-01-17 14:34:45
@misc{8895490,
  abstract     = {One component in writing development is a more efficient use of syntactic tools. Later syntactic development, specifically that of the noun phrase, is an understudied area, notably so for Swedish. The demand for specified and concise information in an expository text, and the availability of more planning time in the written modality, are important factors contributing to more complex noun phrases. The aim of this study is to analyse noun phrase length, lexicality and complexity in age-related and expert development.
This corpus-based study consisted of 96 expository texts written by groups of writers 10, 13, 15 and 17 years old, by adult university students and by adult expert students. All NPs (N=8670) – at least one pronoun or lexical noun plus modifiers – were analysed as lexical or pronominal, simple or complex, and NP length was calculated. Finally, development was analysed over syntactic constituent (Subject, Object or Other).
Results show that NPs are significantly less pronominal, longer, and more complex in older age groups, and most saliently in the subject constituent. However, two important implications are that age-related development is not straightforwardly linear, and that expert development results in less complexity. Results are discussed with respect to the concept of writing expertise, written modality characteristics and general cognitive development.},
  author       = {Gustafsson, Pia},
  keyword      = {later syntactic development,writing expertise,noun phrase lexicality,noun phrase length,noun phrase complexity},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Naming A World of Things – An investigation of the development of noun phrases in written expository discourse, from adolescents to expert writers},
  year         = {2016},
}