Date of Graduation
College of Education and Human Services
Communication Sciences and Disorders
The aim of this study was to analyze written language samples across different genres and age groups to provide information about the production of complex syntax emergence as time progresses across tasks. Complex syntax is both a socially and academically relevant language skill that is observed to advance well into later life. In order to analyze language samples as a way to identify language abilities, we must first understand syntactic emergence across genres with adolescents who are identified as having typical language development. In this study, written narrative, expository, and persuasive language samples were elicited from sixty typical adolescents in sixth, ninth, and twelfth grade. Complex syntax was measured using subordination index (SI), as well as by identifying the types of dependent clauses (i.e., adverbial, noun, and relative) that were observed in each sample. Genre had a significant impact on the use of clauses across all grade levels. Specifically, the persuasive genre elicited a greater number of clauses on average than the narrative and expository genres for sixth and twelfth graders, with the ninth graders having similar clausal density for the expository and persuasive genres. The results also indicated that the type of genre impacted the types of clauses used. The results of this study indicate that speech-language pathologists should consider the type of genre or writing task given the impact on elicitation of clauses.
Myers, Lauren Elizabeth, "Adolescents' Production of Clausal Structures in Written Narrative, Expository, and Persuasive Genres" (2021). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8040.