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Dissertation Information for Mavis Olive Cariou

NAME:
- Mavis Olive Cariou

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA) (1983)

ADVISORS:
- Helen Lloyd Snoke

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Thomas Downen
- Victor Rosenberg
- Thomas Edward Toon

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: SYNTAX, VOCABULARY AND METAPHOR IN THREE GROUPS OF NOVELS FOR CHILDREN IN GRADES FOUR TO SIX

Abstract: The objective of this study was to provide information about language differences in three groups of novels for readers in the middle grades. The three categories of novels, chosen from a 'high' literature--popular literature continuum, were as follows: Newbery award novels, honored for their "distinguished contribution" to children's literature; children's choice novels, selected for awards by children voting from lists of novels preselected by adults; and popular series novels, such as the Hardy Boys and the Nancy Drew mysteries. Within the categories of novels, the study examined the differences in language in the opening, closing, and middle quarters. The language variables studied were aspects of syntax, vocabulary and metaphor.

Random samples of five hundred continuous words were drawn from each quarter of twenty-eight novels in each category. EYEBALL, a computer program by Ross and Rasche, was used on the samples to collect vocabulary statistics and to do preliminary syntactic analysis. The metaphors were evaluated by three judges using scales similar to the semantic differential scales. All the resulting data were submitted to analysis of variance procedures.

Significant differences among the three categories of novels were detected in ten measures of syntax, vocabulary and metaphor. The Newbery award novels had the highest means for all the syntax and metaphor variables: number of participles, number of coordinated verbs, number of complex objects of prepositions, number of adjective clauses, number of words per independent clause (T-unit), number of words per sentence, number of metaphors, and metaphor effectiveness score. The children's choice novels had means that were intermediate between those of the Newbery award and the popular series novels but tended to be closer to the popular series means, which were the lowest for all the syntax and metaphor variables. The popular series novels had the highest means for vocabulary difficulty and diversity, as measured by word length in syllables and the type-token ratio. These vocabulary findings should be interpreted cautiously in the light of the other findings.

MPACT Scores for Mavis Olive Cariou

A = 0
C = 1
A+C = 1
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:26:25

Advisors and Advisees Graph

Directed Graph

Students under Mavis Olive Cariou

ADVISEES:
- None

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- Cherrell Victoria Robinson - University of Toronto (1997)