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ERIC Number: EJ875122
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0142-7164
When Speech Is Ambiguous, Gesture Steps In: Sensitivity to Discourse-Pragmatic Principles in Early Childhood
So, Wing Chee; Demir, Ozlem Ece; Goldin-Meadow, Susan
Applied Psycholinguistics, v31 n1 p209-224 Jan 2010
Young children produce gestures to disambiguate arguments. This study explores whether the gestures they produce are constrained by discourse-pragmatic principles: person and information status. We ask whether children use gesture more often to indicate the referents that have to be specified (i.e., third person and new referents) than the referents that do not have to be specified (i.e., first or second person and given referents). Chinese- and English-speaking children were videotaped while interacting spontaneously with adults, and their speech and gestures were coded for referential expressions. We found that both groups of children tended to use nouns when indicating third person and new referents but pronouns or null arguments when indicating first or second person and given referents. They also produced gestures more often when indicating third person and new referents, particularly when those referents were ambiguously conveyed by less explicit referring expressions (pronouns, null arguments). Thus Chinese- and English-speaking children show sensitivity to discourse-pragmatic principles not only in speech but also in gesture. (Contains 4 figures and 11 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A