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Gestures and the development of semantic representations in first and second language acquisition

MPG-Autoren
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Gullberg,  Marianne
Language Acquisition Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
The Dynamics of Multilingual Processing, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Gullberg, M. (2009). Gestures and the development of semantic representations in first and second language acquisition. Acquisition et Interaction en Langue Etrangère..Languages, Interaction, and Acquisition (former AILE), 1, 117-139.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-3D30-7
Zusammenfassung
This paper argues that speech-associated gestures can usefully inform studies exploring development of meaning in first and second language acquisition. The example domain is caused motion or placement meaning (putting a cup on a table) where acquisition problems have been observed and where adult native gesture use reflects crosslinguistically different placement verb semantics. Against this background, the paper summarises three studies examining the development of semantic representations in Dutch children acquiring Dutch, and adult learners’ acquiring Dutch and French placement verbs. Overall, gestures change systematically with semantic development both in children and adults and (1) reveal what semantic elements are included in current semantic representations, whether target-like or not, and (2) highlight developmental shifts in those representations. There is little evidence that gestures chiefly act as a support channel. Instead, the data support the theoretical notion that speech and gesture form an integrated system, opening new possibilities for studying the processes of acquisition.