ERIC Number: EJ1062105
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
Children's Use of Gesture in Ambiguous Pronoun Interpretation
Goodrich Smith, Whitney; Hudson Kam, Carla L.
Journal of Child Language, v42 n3 p591-617 May 2015
This study explores whether children can use gesture to inform their interpretation of ambiguous pronouns. Specifically, we ask whether four- to eight-year-old English-speaking children are sensitive to information contained in co-referential localizing gestures in video narrations. The data show that the older (7-8 years of age) but not younger (4-5 years) children integrate co-referential gestures into their interpretation of pronouns. This is the same age at which they show sensitivity to order-of-mention, the only other cue available in the stimuli. Interestingly, when children show sensitivity to the gestures, they are quite similar to adults, in that gestures consistent with order-of-mention increase first-mentioned responses as compared to stimuli with no gestures, but only slightly, while gestures inconsistent with order-of-mention have a larger effect on interpretation, decreasing first-mentioned responses and increasing second-mentioned responses.
Descriptors: Form Classes (Languages), Child Language, Young Children, English, Nonverbal Communication, Video Technology, Age Differences, Comprehension, Cues, Visual Stimuli
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: HD 048572