TITLE

Tapping Toddlers' Evolving Semantic Representation via Gesture

AUTHOR(S)
Capone, Nina C.
PUB. DATE
June 2007
SOURCE
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Jun2007, Vol. 50 Issue 3, p732
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Purpose: This study presents evidence that gesture is a means to understanding the semantic representations of toddlers. Method: The data were part of a study of toddlers' word learning conducted by N. C. Capone and K. K. McGregor (2005). The object function probe from that study was administered after 1 exposure and after 3 exposures to objects. Here, toddlers' gestures were described and their gesture-speech combinations were analyzed as a function of instruction and time. Results: A large proportion of toddlers gestured. Gestures were iconic and deictic, but toddlers produced more iconic gestures than previously reported. Consistent with studies of older children, toddlers produced gesture-speech combinations that reflected their learning state. Conclusion: Gesture can be both a source of semantic knowledge and an expression of that knowledge. Gesture provides a window onto evolving semantic representations and, therefore, can be 1 method of assessing what a child knows at a time when oral language skills are limited and are, perhaps, an unreliable indicator of what the child knows. Embodied knowledge may underlie the use of gesture. Clinical implications are discussed.
ACCESSION #
25268904

 

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