Totem Field
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Sick Girl

Story by TFS Working Group

Illustrated by

Featured in the Hampton Fund Storyboard Collection

Version 1.1

  • This is Mary and her mother.
  • One day, Mary's mother lets her go outside to play.
  • Mary runs outside...
  • But she falls down and breaks her leg.
  • Her friends come by and ask if she can come out to play.
  • "I can't," says Mary.
  • "Because I broke my leg!"
  • A while later, Mary's leg gets better.
  • Her mom tells her she can go outside to play again.
  • Mary runs outside...
  • But this time she falls down and breaks her arm.
  • Her friends come by and ask if she can come out to play again.
  • "I can't," says Mary.
  • "Because I fell down and broke my arm!"
  • A while later, Mary's arm gets better.
  • "You can go out to play, even though it's raining," says her mother.
  • Mary runs outside...
  • But she catches a cold from playing in the rain!
  • Her friends come by and ask if she can come out to play again.
  • "I can't," says Mary.
  • "Because I have a really bad cold!"
  • A while later, Mary gets better from her cold.
  • Her friends come by and ask if she can come out to play again."
  • "Sorry, but I can't come out to play," says Mary. "Now I have to get caught up on all my homework!"
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Story Text:

  1. This is Mary and her mother.
  2. One day, Mary's mother lets her go outside to play.
  3. Mary runs outside...
  4. But she falls down and breaks her leg.
  5. Her friends come by and ask if she can come out to play.
  6. "I can't," says Mary.
  7. "Because I broke my leg!"
  8. A while later, Mary's leg gets better.
  9. Her mom tells her she can go outside to play again.
  10. Mary runs outside...
  11. But this time she falls down and breaks her arm.
  12. Her friends come by and ask if she can come out to play again.
  13. "I can't," says Mary.
  14. "Because I fell down and broke my arm!"
  15. A while later, Mary's arm gets better.
  16. "You can go out to play, even though it's raining," says her mother.
  17. Mary runs outside...
  18. But she catches a cold from playing in the rain!
  19. Her friends come by and ask if she can come out to play again.
  20. "I can't," says Mary.
  21. "Because I have a really bad cold!"
  22. A while later, Mary gets better from her cold.
  23. Her friends come by and ask if she can come out to play again."
  24. "Sorry, but I can't come out to play," says Mary. "Now I have to get caught up on all my homework!"

Materials:

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Summary:

Every time Mary steps outside, misfortune befalls her...

Instructions:

Anyone can use this story to explore the expression of possibility and ability in a language, through a simple story.

Goals for Linguists:

PRIMARY TARGET:

Linguists can use this story to elicit the contrast (or lack of one) between: deontic possibility (permission) vs. circumstantial possibility (ability).

POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL TARGETS:

• Potential infinitives in slides 2, 5, 12, 17, 23.

• Potential deontic necessity modal (obligation)in slide 24.

NOTES:

• You might get a permission modal in slides 2, 9, 16 and 24.

• You might get acircumstantial / ability modal in slides 5, 13, and 20.

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

• If you get the same modals in all the slides, 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’ in slide 2, but we can also just use plain ‘could’.

Other Versions:

Cite this storyboard as:

TFS Working Group (2011). Sick Girl. Totem Field Storyboards . 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.

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