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Parent-child interaction during storybook reading: wordless narrative books versus books with text

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-11-30, 17:15 authored by Abigail Petrie, Robert Mayr, Fei Zhao, Simona Montanari
This study examines the content and function of parent-child talk while engaging in shared storybook reading with two narrative books: a wordless book versus a book with text. Thirty-six parents audio-recorded themselves reading one of the books at home with their 3.5–5.5-year-old children. Pragmatic and linguistic measures of parental and child talk during both narrative storytelling and dialogic interactions were compared between the wordless and book-with-text conditions. The results show that the wordless book engendered more interaction than the book-with-text, with a higher rate of parental prompts and responsive feedback, and significantly more child contributions, although lexical diversity and grammatical complexity of parental language were higher during narration using a book-with-text. The findings contribute to research on shared storybook reading suggesting that different book formats can promote qualitatively different language learning environments.


Published in

Journal of Child Language


Cambridge University Press

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  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Petrie, A., Robert, M.A.Y.R., Fei, Z.H.A.O. and Montanari, S. (2021) 'Parent-child interaction during storybook reading: wordless narrative books versus books with text', Journal of Child Language, pp.1-28. doi: 10.1017/S0305000921000763

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Electronic ISSN


Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Abigail Petrie Robert Mayr Fei Zhao

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Speech, Hearing and Communication

Copyright Holder

  • © The Authors


  • en