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ERIC Number: EJ1160911
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0142-7237
Encouraging Usage of an Endangered Ancestral Language: A Supportive Role for Caregivers' Deictic Gestures
Yuksel, Peri; Brooks, Patricia J.
First Language, v37 n6 p561-582 Dec 2017
Many ancestral languages (AL) are at imminent risk of extinction due to societal changes that pressure minority communities to assimilate with dominant cultures and forego usage of their AL. This study aimed to encourage caregiver-child dyads to converse in Lazuri, an endangered AL in Rize, Turkey. Dyads (N = 59; child age M = 30.7 months, range 15-48) were asked to speak Lazuri while playing with culturally appropriate toys for 20 minutes. Utterances were coded for language and accompanying gestures. With children speaking mostly in Turkish, caregivers experienced difficulties maintaining AL usage, yet were generally compliant with instructions. Caregivers more often produced deictic gestures when speaking Lazuri than when speaking Turkish, suggesting that children's lack of AL proficiency influenced their gesturing. Moreover, caregivers who produced more gesture-speech combinations in the AL had children who produced more AL utterances, after controlling for the amount of AL input. Results indicate the feasibility of enhancing AL input through directed toy-play in contexts of language endangerment. In such contexts, deictic gestures may be especially valuable in grounding AL usage in the immediate context.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Turkey
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A