Totem Field
Storyboards

Chore Girl

Story by TFS Working Group

Illustrated by Heidi Johnson

Featured in the Hampton Fund Storyboard Collection

Version 1.0

  • This is Mary and her mother.
  • Her mother says she can’t go out to play until she has done her three chores.
  • At 1pm her friends come over and ask if she can come out to play.
  • Mary says ‘I can’t, I have to do the dishes.’
  • So she does the dishes.
  • At 2pm her friends come over again and ask if she can come out to play.
  • Mary says ‘I can’t, I have to sweep the floor.’
  • So she sweeps the floor.
  • At 3pm her friends come over again and ask if she can come out to play.
  • Mary says ‘I can’t, I have to chop wood.’
  • So she chops wood.
  • Mary goes to her mother and says ‘I did all my three chores.’
  • Her mother says ‘You are allowed to go out and play now.’
  • So Mary runs outside.
  • But she falls down on the steps.
  • And she breaks her leg.
  • At 4pm her friends come over again and ask if she can come out to play.
  • Mary says ‘Well my mother said I’m allowed to,’
  • ‘… but I broke my leg, so I can’t.’
of

Story Text:

  1. This is Mary and her mother.
  2. Her mother says she can’t go out to play until she has done her three chores.
  3. At 1pm her friends come over and ask if she can come out to play.
  4. Mary says ‘I can’t, I have to do the dishes.’
  5. So she does the dishes.
  6. At 2pm her friends come over again and ask if she can come out to play.
  7. Mary says ‘I can’t, I have to sweep the floor.’
  8. So she sweeps the floor.
  9. At 3pm her friends come over again and ask if she can come out to play.
  10. Mary says ‘I can’t, I have to chop wood.’
  11. So she chops wood.
  12. Mary goes to her mother and says ‘I did all my three chores.’
  13. Her mother says ‘You are allowed to go out and play now.’
  14. So Mary runs outside.
  15. But she falls down on the steps.
  16. And she breaks her leg.
  17. At 4pm her friends come over again and ask if she can come out to play.
  18. Mary says ‘Well my mother said I’m allowed to,’
  19. ‘… but I broke my leg, so I can’t.’

Materials:

View as online slideshowMake a PDFDownload images (0.4 MB)

Summary:

Every time Mary's friends want to play, she's got another chore to do...

Instructions:

Anyone can use this storyboard to explore the expression of possibility, ability and obligation in a language.

Explain the whole story to your speaker in English beforehand, then ask the speaker to tell the whole story in his or her language.

Note: The method does not work well if you translate a description of each picture one by one, of if the speaker writes out the story in advance in their language.

Goals for Linguists:

PRIMARY TARGET:

Linguists can use this story to elicit the contrast (or lack of one) between: deontic possibility (permission), circumstantial possibility (ability), and deontic necessity (obligation)

Linguists can use this story to elicit interactions between: modality and negation

POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL TARGETS:

Potential embedded speech in slides 2 and 18, potential embedded yes-no question in slides 3 and 18, and potential contrasting coordinator (“but”) in slide 15.

NOTES:

• You might get a permission modal in slides 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 13 and 18.

• You might get an ability modal in slides 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 19.

• You might get an obligation modal in slides 4, 7, and 10.

• You might get a modal/negation interaction in slides 2, 4, 7, 10 and 19.

• If you get different modals in these different groups of slides, follow-up elicitation will involve trying to switch the different forms in the relevant sentences.

• If you get the same modals in some or all the sets of slides, or even if you get the same modal in the crucial contrast in slides 18 and 19, it doesn't necessarily mean the language lacks a way to distinguish permission from ability. For example, in English we can used the verb ‘allowed’ or ‘let’ for permission, but we can also just use plain ‘can’. Do follow-up elicitation using other modals in the language, substituting them in various places, to establish the full range of possibilities.

Cite this storyboard as:

TFS Working Group (2011). Chore Girl. Retrieved from http://www.totemfieldstoryboards.org on Aug 18, 2017.

Licensing:

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada License.

You are free to redistribute this storyboard, and create your own derivative works from it, so long as you attribute the original source. Commercial use is permitted.

Watch:

Notify me of new versions.