Frequency of mazes in an experimental narrative task in monolingual English and Spanish-English bilingual children

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1 Scopus citations


Mazes such as self-corrections during speech production are observed in all speakers at varying rates. One hypothesis is that mazes result from the challenge of speech planning when speakers experience linguistic uncertainty. The aim of the study was to examine mazes in 4- and 5-year old typically developing English monolingual and Spanish-English bilingual children’s narratives when uncertainty was manipulated in narrative context. Three typically developing groups participated in this study: a Spanish-English bilingual group, an age-matched monolingual English-speaking group and a language-matched younger monolingual English-speaking group. Two narrative task conditions were designed to manipulate linguistic uncertainty as a means of experimentally testing for the production of mazes. In the more uncertainty condition, the picture scenes presented did not depict a story with a logical sequence or ending and a less uncertainty condition where the picture scenes depicted a story scene with a logical sequence and ending. Maze frequency in two narrative conditions and the amount of mazes between groups were compared to explore conditions and related factors to frequency of mazes in young monolingual English and Spanish-English bilingual children. Number of different words was correlated with a higher mazes frequency for all three groups across both narrative conditions. Manipulation of certainty in narrative conditions elicited mazes in monolingual and bilingual children. Bilingual children did not exhibit more mazes than their monolingual peers indicating that bilingual experience in and of itself was not an indicator of exhibiting more mazes during this type of task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-569
Number of pages23
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilingual
  • Spanish
  • language
  • mazes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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