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  • 1.
    Gerholm, Tove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Gestures and gestures in child language development2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The underlying question in most work on gestures is how the relation between gesture and speech should be understood. This is also the fundamental question in this presentation, where focus is on children’s gestures in relation to language development and socialization.

    Gesture studies on adult interaction tend to divide gestural movements into various kinds depending on their assumed relation to spoken language. The group of gestures which have received most attention in the scientific world is the so called “co-speech gestures”, i.e. hand- and arm movements that occur simultaneously with speech and that are integrated temporally and semantically with the verbal utterance (Kendon, 1981, 2004; McNeill, 1992, 2005).

    In child language studies, the term co-speech gestures is not used as frequently, although the gestures actually described tend to be within that domain, e.g. the deictic pointing gesture co-occurring with “there” (Tomasello et al.,2007; Rowe et al.,2008). Other child gestures receiving attention are the more pragmatically oriented “grab/reach gesture” or emblematic gestures like “nodding”, “waving goodbye”, etc. (e.g., Bates et al., 1975). Although humans remain children for quite some time the majority of child-gesture studies end when the children reach the vocabulary spurt (around the second birthday). A likely reason is that the questions posed relate to the transition from pre-language to language and the role played by gestural behavior in this developmental interval.

    The presentation builds on a study taking the child gestures one step further by allowing the gesture definition to be wider (including in this term movements of the whole body), and the age span studied to go beyond the first two years. The material is longitudinal and consists of child-child and child-adult interaction between the ages 1 to 6. There are 11 children in the study, belonging to five families and they were recorded in their homes regularly during 2 ½ years. The data (in all 22 h) where transcribed and annotated using the ELAN software. The annotations of gestural behavior were categorized according to age of the child, interactional partner (child/adult), setting, activity/semantic theme, and concurrent speech/vocalizations.

    In the presentation, main focus will be on two groups of gestural behavior in particular: co-speech gestures and co-activity speech. Whereas the former is an established term (se above), the latter is the term I have been using to describe speech-gesture combinations where the vocalizations seem to be redundant or at least second in priority, for example the utterances made while going through the motions of ritualized and mainly gestural play (e.g., “pat-a-cake”, “peek-a-boo”, “hide-and-seek”). The differences between these two classes of gestural behavior will be illustrated, described, and related to language development, cognitive growth, and socialization patterns. Ending the talk the fundamental question of speech-gesture relation will be addressed and a developmental path including the described gestural forms will be sketched out.

     

    References:

    Bates, E., Camaioni, L., & V. Volterra (1975). The acquisition of performatives prior to speech, in Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 21, pp. 205-226.

    Kendon, A. (1981). Geography of gesture, in Semiotica, 37, pp. 129-163.

    Kendon, A. (2004). Gesture. Visible action as utterance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    McNeill, D. (1992). Hand and mind. What gestures reveal about thought, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

    McNeill, D. (2005). Gesture and Thought, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Tomasello, M., Carpenter, M., & U. Liszkowski (2007). A new look at infant pointing, in Child development, 78 (3), pp. 705-722.

    Rowe, L.M., Özcaliskan, S., & S. Goldin-Meadow (2008). Learning words by hand: Gesture’s role in predicting vocabulary development, in First Language, Vol. 28 (2), pp. 182-199.

  • 2.
    Gerholm, Tove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Phonetics.
    The Swedish MINT-project – or, the quest to pull apart and put together constituents of verbal and nonverbal interaction2015Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Koptjevskaja Tamm, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Introducing the panel: what can be meant by areal semantics?2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the panel is to initiate a discussion on which lexico-semantic phenomena show parallells across the (West-)African languages and how these similarities may be described and accounted for – by universal tendencies, genetic relations among the languages, their contacts and/or their common extra-linguistic surrounding. Areal semantics (Ameka & Wilkins 1996, Koptjevskaja-Tamm & Liljegren forthc.), in its concern with the diffusion of semantic features across language boundaries in a geographical area, is a potentially vast field, spanning the convergence of individual lexemes, through the structuring of entire semantic domains to the organization of complete lexicons. It has a great potential for historical and areal linguistics, but is still awaiting systematic research. Lexical phenomena have a long standing record in research on language contact and linguistic areas. However, the recent developments in areal linguistics and areal typology have, with a few exceptions, mainly concerned grammatical phenomena. This is not at all surprising given the central place of this research in modern linguistics of all denominations, including typology, where the rapidly developing field of areal typology has encouraged and facilitated serious research on the relative role of universal, genetic and areal factors for many grammatical and phonetic phenomena. The two traditionally distinguished groups of contact phenomena in the lexicon are loanwords and calques, or semantic loans – the distinction paralleled by contact phenomena at other levels (‘replication of matter’ vs. ‘pattern replication’ in Matras and Sakel 2007, also Croft's 2000 distinction between ‘substance linguemes’ and ‘schematic linguemes’ and Heine and Kuteva's 2005 ‘polysemy copying’). Loanwords have been studied from a more systematic cross-linguistic perspective, where the core issue has been the varying borrowability of various words, seen as belonging to different parts of speech and/or coming from different semantic domains (cf. Haspelmath and Tadmor eds. 2009, Wohlgemuth 2009). The interesting research angles here, as elsewhere in research on contact phenomena and in (areal-)typological research (cf. Koptjevskaja-Tamm 2011) are possible outcomes of language contact in the realm of the lexicon, on the one hand, and a possibility of using lexical phenomena for reconstructing contact, on the other. But a lexical-typological contribution to areal linguistics has an even greater potential when it comes to pattern replication rather than to replication of matter. To give one example, Hayward (1991, 2000, also Treis 2010) points out many shared lexicalization patterns in the three Ethiopian languages Amharic (Semitic), Oromo (Cushitic) and Gamo (Omotic), which add to the cumulative evidence in favour of the Ethio-Erithrean linguistic area and fall into four categories: (i) shared semantic specializations, e.g. ‘die without ritual slaughter (of cattle)’;  (ii) shared polysemy, e.g. ‘draw water’ – ‘copy’; (iii) shared derivational pathways, e.g. ‘need’ = causative of ‘want’: (iv) shared ideophones and idioms, e.g., ‘I caught a cold’ expressed via ‘a cold caught me’. Matisoff (2004), Vanhove (ed. 2008), Zalizniak et al. (2012) and Urban (2012) give numerous examples of cross-linguistically recurrent patterns of polysemy (e.g., ‘eat’ –> ‘suffer’), some of which are clearly areally restricted and witness of language contact, whereas others rather reflect universal tendencies.

  • 4.
    Lindström, Eva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Gender in Kuot, an East Papuan Isolate2015Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 5. Lockwood, Hunter
    et al.
    Vejdemo, Susanne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    There is no thermostat in the forest - the semantics and sociolinguistics of temperature in Ojibwe2010Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Miestamo, Matti
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Koponen, Eino
    Negation in Skolt Saami2011Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Parkvall, Mikael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Simulating the genesis of Mauritian2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A simple computer simulation addresses some of the most basic issues in creole formation. Mauritius is chosen as the testing ground because of its uniquely well documented settlement history. The outcome of the simulation is compared to the actual product of the language contact situation, i. e. Mauritian Creole. The questions dealt with are the following: Were slaves trying to acquire the lexifier? How fast did the new language emerge? Did it develop from a pidgin? To what extent are the features of the creole drawn from the languages in contact?

  • 8.
    Vejdemo, Susanne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    To Database Meaning: Building the Typological Database of Temperature Terms2010Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Veselinova, Ljuba
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Lexicalization of Negative Senses: A Crosslinguistic Study2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Veselinova, Ljuba
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Standard and Special Negators in the Uralic Languages2011Conference paper (Refereed)
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