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ERIC Number: EJ858860
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 69
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
Children's Use of Gesture to Resolve Lexical Ambiguity
Kidd, Evan; Holler, Judith
Developmental Science, v12 n6 p903-913 Nov 2009
We report on a study investigating 3-5-year-old children's use of gesture to resolve lexical ambiguity. Children were told three short stories that contained two homonym senses; for example, "bat" (flying mammal) and "bat" (sports equipment). They were then asked to re-tell these stories to a second experimenter. The data were coded for the means that children used during attempts at disambiguation: speech, gesture, or a combination of the two. The results indicated that the 3-year-old children rarely disambiguated the two senses, mainly using deictic pointing gestures during attempts at disambiguation. In contrast, the 4-year-old children attempted to disambiguate the two senses more often, using a larger proportion of iconic gestures than the other children. The 5-year-old children used less iconic gestures than the 4-year-olds, but unlike the 3-year-olds, were able to disambiguate the senses through the verbal channel. The results highlight the value of gesture to the development of children's language and communication skills.
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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