Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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This paper examines how 4-year-old Thai-speaking children made referential choices when referring to animate entities in a story. The aim is to answer two questions. First, do young Thai children's narratives exhibit Preferred Argument Structure (PAS) patterns (Du Bois 1987)? And, second, do young Thai children differentiate their choice of referential forms based on discourse contexts? It was found that children's selection of referential forms generally followed the PAS constraints. The only constraint that was not strictly observed was the Non-lexical A constraint. Furthermore, children were found to be influenced by discourse contexts when they expressed arguments in subject positions. The evidence also showed that, at 4 years of age, children showed a preference for lexical forms and were not yet fully capable of using referential forms to create coherence in narratives.

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