Internal structure of oral narrative in Arabic

This qualitative study aims at exploring the internal structure of personal experience oral narrative in Arabic in terms of Woodbury (1987) rhetorical components and Labov (1972) approach of narrative structure, who claimed its presence in all well-formed narratives. Recordings of orally told narratives by five Saudi informants were elicited in informal settings, and were coded and qualitatively analyzed to provide a comprehensive understanding of oral narrative structure in Arabic. The findings of this study confirmed that the Labovian components of the internal structure of oral narrative were exhibited in Arabic oral narratives. The results also seemed to support the idea of the essential role of Woodbury (1987) rhetorical categories. That is, pauses and intonational contours line up to form the structure of the narrative. In addition, adverbial particles can be used as a mechanism to reinforce the internal structure of the narrative which coincide with pause phrasing and intonational contours. With regard to syntactic constituency component, the study found out that each line corresponds to at least one clause or phrase. © 2020 JLLS and the Authors - Published by JLLS.


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Appendix A. Coding conventions

Lines –Arabic numerals (1);

Intonational groups: lower-case letters in angle brackets ;

Intonation type: at the end of each like: (/) rising, (\) falling and ( ) level;

Scenes: UPPER-CASE letters (A);

Sections: UPPER-CASE roman numerals (I.);

Subsections: lower-case roman numerals (i.);

Pauses: at the right of line in angle brackets <1>;

Labov’s components abbreviated at the left of the line;

A: Abstract

O: Orientation

CA: Complicating Actions

E: Evaluation

R: Resolution and Cods