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Macrostructure in the narratives of monolingual Finnish and bilingual Finnish–Swedish children

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 December 2015

University of Oulu
University of Oulu
University of Oulu
ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Sari Kunnari, University of Oulu, Faculty of Humanities, Child Language Research Center, PO Box 1000, 90014 University of Oulu, Finland. E-mail:


The narrative macrostructure of 16 Finnish–Swedish bilingual children (M age = 5 years, 8 months) was assessed in both of their languages. In the case of the Finnish language, the macrostructure was compared with that of 16 monolingual same-age peers. The narratives were analyzed for story structure, structural complexity, and internal state terms in two conditions (telling and retelling). There were no differences in macrostructure between the two languages of bilingual children, or between the monolingual and bilingual children. However, the results revealed differences between elicitation tasks. The story structure score for bilingual children was lower in a telling task than in a retelling task in Finnish. Further, the retelling task elicited higher structural complexity and more internal state terms, regardless of the language.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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