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ERIC Number: EJ1219255
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jul
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1467-7687
How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up? The Answer Depends on Children's Language Background
Nicoladis, Elena; Marentette, Paula; Pika, Simone
Developmental Science, v22 n4 e12781 Jul 2019
Monolingual English-speaking preschool children tend to process number gestures as unanalyzed wholes rather than use the one-to-one (finger-to-quantity) correspondence. By school age, however, children can use the one-to-one correspondence. The purpose of the present studies was to test whether children learn one-to-one correspondence through exposure to a variety of finger configurations to convey a single quantity. In Study 1, we compared children with exposure to multiple one-to-one configurations, that is, French-English and German-English bilingual children, to English monolingual children who see consistent representations. As predicted, the bilingual children performed better in interpreting unconventional number gestures. In Study 2, we compared Chinese-English bilingual children who knew arbitrary one-handed Chinese numbers gestures for quantities 6-10 to Chinese-English bilingual children who did not know these gestures, as well as to monolingual English speakers. Chinese-English bilinguals who knew the arbitrary gestures were more likely to interpret unconventional gestures arbitrarily (i.e., influenced by the written and/or Chinese gesture forms). These children did not differ from English monolinguals in the interpretation of unconventional gestures. These results are consistent with the argument that children can become sensitive to the one-to-one correspondence in number gestures with exposure to multiple configurations for the same quantity.
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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
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A