Edited by Aliyah Morgenstern and Michèle Guidetti
[Language, Interaction and Acquisition 8:1] 2017
► pp. 89–116
Developing communicative postures
The emergence of shrugging in child communication
This article analyses the development of a composite communicative posture, the shrug (which can combine palm-up flips, lifted shoulders and a head tilt), in a video corpus of spontaneous interactions between a typically developing British girl, Ellie, and her mother, filmed at home one hour each month from Ellie’s tenth month to her fourth birthday. The systematic coding of every shrug yields a total of 124 tokens (Ellie: 98; her mother: 26), providing results in terms of forms, functions and input. Ellie’s first shrug components emerge from non-linguistic actions and she acquires them one at a time starting with the hands: these features recall the development of complex signs among deaf children of the same age (Reilly & Anderson, 2002 for ASL). The functions of Ellie’s shrugs gradually diversify from the expression of absence at 1;04 to other epistemic and non-epistemic meanings (affective and dynamic). Adult intervention plays a crucial role as adults recurrently equate Ellie’s physical movements with speech, thereby contributing to the emergence of their communicative functions as gestural emblems (Ekman & Friesen, 1969).
Cited by other publications
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 19 september 2019. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.