The development of narrative productivity, syntactic complexity, referential cohesion and event content in four- to eight-year-old Finnish children
This study focuses on the development of narrative structure and the relationship between narrative productivity and event content. A total of 172 Finnish children aged between four and eight participated. Their picture-elicited narrations were analysed for productivity, syntactic complexity, referential cohesion and event content. Each measure showed a developmental trend. Concerning consecutive age groups, significant differences were observed between four- and five-year-olds in productivity and event content and between five- and six-year-olds in referential cohesion. Multiple regression analysis showed that the relationship between productivity and event content was important, and especially the number of different word tokens proved to be useful in explaining the event content, whereas the number of communication units did not. This suggests that some productivity measures should be interpreted with caution.