Date of Award
Master of Science
Communication Disorders and Sciences
AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF MELISSA NORRIS, for the Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders and Science, presented on March 15, 2010, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: SUBJECT PRONOUNS USED BY CHARACTERS IN TELEVISION SHOWS TARGETING PRESCHOOLERS AND THEIR AGE APPROPRIATENESS. MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Valerie Boyer This was an investigation comparing the accuracy and type of subject pronouns used by characters in two television shows targeting the preschool demographic, Sesame Street and Barney and Friends. The first 100 opportunities for pronoun use in five episodes of each show were transcribed. The subject pronouns were classified as either correct, substitution, or omission. Subject pronouns were also analyzed by person and singular vs. plural tense. The study found that both shows have high subject pronoun use accuracy. While there was a difference between the numbers of correct use, substitution, and omission, the numbers possessed no statistical significance. Sesame Street used significantly more singular and second person pronouns, while Barney and Friends used significantly more plural pronouns. This was an initial investigation with a small sample size. Further research should examine an increased sample size and begin to expand the scope of syntactic analysis.
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