A bilingual child’s multimodal path into negation
The study of the expression of negation in longitudinal adult-child data is a privileged locus for a multimodal approach to language acquisition. In the case of bilingual language acquisition, the necessity to enter two languages at once might have an influence on the management of the visual-gestural and the auditory modalities. In order to tackle these issues, we analyze the longitudinal data of Antoine, a bilingual French/Italian child recorded separately once a month for an hour with his Italian mother and with his French father between the ages of 1;5 and 3;5.Our analyses of all his multimodal utterances with negations show that Antoine has created efficient transitional systems during his developmental path both by combining modalities and by mixing his two native languages. The visual-gestural modality is a stable resource to rely on in all the types of linguistic environments Antoine experiences. His bilingual environment could be connected to the creation of his mixed verbal productions also addressed to both French speaking and Italian speaking interlocutors. Those two transitory creative systems are efficient elements of his communicative repertoire during an important period of his language development. Gesture might therefore have a compensatory function for that little boy. It is a wonderful resource to communicate efficiently in his specific environment during his multimodal, multilingual entry into language.
Keywords: multimodal constructions, bilingual acquisition, negation
Published online: 01 October 2015
Cited by 7 other publications
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