This study examined the representation of knowledge in text writing in 20 ten-year-old children and 20 adults in the Netherlands. The research analyzed the use of clause linking devices to compose larger text units. Special attention was given to the use of causal relational markers and the extent to which causal relations within the texts matched real-world causality or reflected the personal perspective of the writer. This study explored the extent to which individual differences in writing can be explained by such factors as gender, working memory, and the degree of reading and writing experience of the writer. The results showed greater textual coherence for adults than for school children. Adults tend to use more adverbial and complement constructions at the cost of coordinating devices. The causal markers produced by adults showed a broad range of personal stances, whereas those produced by children showed a high degree of detachment from real-world causality. The observed individual differences in the packaging of clauses by both the children and the adults were found to be primarily related to short-term memory constraints and to reading and writing experiences. A gender effect was found for the children's writing of expository text.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language