Acquisition of Discourse at 4—5 Years of Age: Functional Dynamic Analysis of the Impact of Genre and Register on the Part-of-Speech Profile



Despite a long history of studies in the discourse, we still lack systematic investigations in the discourse acquisition at the preschool and pre-primary school age. Namely, the influence of variables, such as discourse genre, communication register, socio-pragmatic skills, on different linguistic parameters almost has not been investigated yet. Hence, the given study aimed at the corpus-based analysis of different child discourse genres with the main focus on the Part-of-Speech (PoS) Profile. First, each child told three personal narratives, then generated a fictional story according to the picture sequence, and had an informal chat during five individual sessions. Then, five subcorpora, including different genres (story vs. conversation) and different registers (speech addressed to adult vs. peer), were developed to analyze the distribution of parts of speech. Finally, individual and within-group PoS Profiles were built. Statistical analysis revealed some significant differences in the PoS Profile between the genres and communication registers. Namely, the genre had a significant impact on the frequency of nouns, verbs, adverbs, particles, conjunctions, and prepositions, while the communication register impacted significantly on the frequency of nouns, pronouns, adverbs, particles, and conjunctions. In the paper, the dynamic model of speech production is further discussed. Results of the study inspire discussion on the role of the PoS Profile as a manifestation of the concurrent relations between the child’s language competence and cognitive resources.

General Information

Keywords: discourse, genre, communication register, child language, part of speech

Journal rubric: Psycholinguistics

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Science Foundation (RSF), project number 18-18-00114.

Received: 19.08.2020


For citation: Kornev A.N., Balciuniene I. Acquisition of Discourse at 4—5 Years of Age: Functional Dynamic Analysis of the Impact of Genre and Register on the Part-of-Speech Profile. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2022. Vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 160–176. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2022150110. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Alexander N. Kornev, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Faculty of General and Applied Psychology, Saint Petersburg State Academy of Pediatric Medicine, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Ingrida Balciuniene, PhD, Associated Professor, Department of Logopathology, Saint Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University, Associated Professor, Department of Logopathology, , St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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