Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1080/01690965.2011.589273
Title: Turkish- and English-speaking children display sensitivity to perceptual context in the referring expressions they produce in speech and gesture
Authors: Demir, Ö.E.
So, W.-C. 
Özyürek, A.
Goldin-Meadow, S.
Keywords: Discourse
Gesture
Language development
Referring expressions
Issue Date: Jul-2012
Source: Demir, Ö.E., So, W.-C., Özyürek, A., Goldin-Meadow, S. (2012-07). Turkish- and English-speaking children display sensitivity to perceptual context in the referring expressions they produce in speech and gesture. Language and Cognitive Processes 27 (6) : 844-867. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1080/01690965.2011.589273
Abstract: Speakers choose a particular expression based on many factors, including availability of the referent in the perceptual context. We examined whether, when expressing referents, monolingual English- and Turkish-speaking children: (1) are sensitive to perceptual context, (2) express this sensitivity in language-specific ways, and (3) use co-speech gestures to specify referents that are underspecified. We also explored the mechanisms underlying children's sensitivity to perceptual context. Children described short vignettes to an experimenter under two conditions: The characters in the vignettes were present in the perceptual context (perceptual context); the characters were absent (no perceptual context). Children routinely used nouns in the no perceptualcontext condition, but shifted to pronouns (English-speaking children) or omitted arguments (Turkish-speaking children) in the perceptualcontext condition. Turkish-speaking children used underspecified referents more frequently than English-speaking children in the perceptualcontext condition; however, they compensated for the difference by using gesture to specify the forms. Gesture thus gives children learning structurally different languages a way to achieve comparable levels of specification while at the same time adhering to the referential expressions dictated by their language. © 2012 Copyright Psychology Press Ltd.
Source Title: Language and Cognitive Processes
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/49872
ISSN: 01690965
DOI: 10.1080/01690965.2011.589273
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