Chapter published in:Sources of Variation in First Language Acquisition: Languages, contexts, and learners
Edited by Maya Hickmann †, Edy Veneziano and Harriet Jisa
[Trends in Language Acquisition Research 22] 2018
► pp. 123–138
Chapter 6Cross-linguistic variation in children’s multimodal utterances
Our ability to use language is multimodal and requires tight coordination between what is expressed in speech and in gesture, such as pointing or iconic gestures that convey semantic, syntactic and pragmatic information related to speakers’ messages. Interestingly, what is expressed in gesture and how it is coordinated with speech differs in speakers of different languages. This paper discusses recent findings on the development of children’s multimodal expressions taking cross-linguistic variation into account. Although some aspects of speech-gesture development show language-specificity from an early age, it might still take children until nine years of age to exhibit fully adult patterns of cross-linguistic variation. These findings reveal insights about how children coordinate different levels of representations given that their development is constrained by patterns that are specific to their languages.
Keywords: gesture, pointing, manner of motion, path of motion, Turkish, multimodal, Interface Hypothesis
- 2.Gesture and language development: General milestones
- 3.Cross-linguistic variation in adult multimodal utterances
- 4.Cross-linguistic variation in children’s multimodal utterances
- 4.1Late development: Mastering motion event expressions and discourse
- 4.2Early development: Action and motion event representations
Published online: 22 February 2018
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