Temporal transitions in narrative production with wordless picture books

Choonkyu Lee, Gaurav Kharkwal, Karin Stromswold


We present empirical results that demonstrate temporal intervals in story time affect narrative structure. Eight native English-speaking adults estimated the duration of intervals between events depicted in consecutive pictures in Mercer and Marianna Mayer’s wordless picture books, and a separate group of 37 adults wrote stories to accompany these picture books. Analyses revealed that adults used significantly more temporal connectives (when, while, etc.) after long intervals than short ones. We argue that writers use temporal anchors to help readers update the temporal dimension of discourse representation, and that situation models (Zwaan, 1999) are relevant to narrative production.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.606