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. 139–160
Gesture and speech in adults’ and children’s narratives
A cross-linguistic investigation of Zulu and French
Jean-Marc Colletta | Laboratoire Linguistique et Didactique des Langues Etrangères et Maternelles, Université Grenoble Alpes
Ramona Kunene Nicolas | Department of Linguistics, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Michèle Guidetti | Laboratoire Cognition, Langues, Langage, Ergonomie, Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès & CNRS
This chapter reports on a cross-linguistic developmental study comparing speech and gesture produced in narratives by adults and children speaking either French (a non-pro-drop Romance language) or Zulu (a pro-drop Bantu language). We asked 72 participants (French: 12 adults and 24 children; Zulu: 12 adults and 24 children) to narrate a short silent cartoon. Zulu narratives were more detailed and contained fewer comments than the French. Zulu-speaking participants produced more representational and fewer pragmatic gestures than their French-speaking counterparts. Language differences do not explain this result. Rather, the findings support the gesture-speech co-expressivity framework and suggest an impact of literacy practice norms on multimodal narrative performance during later language acquisition.
Keywords: multimodality, development, narratives, Zulu, French, gesture-speech co-expressivity
Published online: 22 February 2018
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