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A helping hand? Gestures, L2 learners, and grammar

Gullberg, Marianne LU (2008) In Gesture: Second language acquisition and classroom research p.185-210
Abstract
This chapter explores what L2 learners' gestures reveal about L2 grammar. The focus is on learners’ difficulties with maintaining reference in discourse caused by their incomplete mastery of pronouns. The study highlights the systematic parallels between properties of L2 speech and gesture, and the parallel effects of grammatical development in both modalities. The validity of a communicative account of interlanguage grammar in this domain is tested by taking the cohesive properties of the gesture-speech ensemble into account. Specifically, I investigate whether learners use gestures to compensate for and to license over-explicit reference in speech. The results rule out a communicative account for the spoken variety of maintained... (More)
This chapter explores what L2 learners' gestures reveal about L2 grammar. The focus is on learners’ difficulties with maintaining reference in discourse caused by their incomplete mastery of pronouns. The study highlights the systematic parallels between properties of L2 speech and gesture, and the parallel effects of grammatical development in both modalities. The validity of a communicative account of interlanguage grammar in this domain is tested by taking the cohesive properties of the gesture-speech ensemble into account. Specifically, I investigate whether learners use gestures to compensate for and to license over-explicit reference in speech. The results rule out a communicative account for the spoken variety of maintained reference. In contrast, cohesive gestures are found to be multi-functional. While the presence of cohesive gestures is not communicatively motivated, their spatial realisation is. It is suggested that gestures are exploited as a grammatical communication strategy to disambiguate speech wherever possible, but that they may also be doing speaker-internal work. The methodological importance of considering L2 gestures when studying grammar is also discussed. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
communication strategy, visibility, discourse, information structure, reference tracking, gesture, second language acquisition
in
Gesture: Second language acquisition and classroom research
editor
McCafferty, Stephen and Gale, Stam
pages
185 - 210
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • Scopus:42449092591
ISBN
978-0-8058-6053-5
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
27babef3-e43e-44ef-983c-4fec679e8d8a (old id 1611483)
date added to LUP
2010-06-02 13:53:34
date last changed
2017-02-26 04:31:22
@inbook{27babef3-e43e-44ef-983c-4fec679e8d8a,
  abstract     = {This chapter explores what L2 learners' gestures reveal about L2 grammar. The focus is on learners’ difficulties with maintaining reference in discourse caused by their incomplete mastery of pronouns. The study highlights the systematic parallels between properties of L2 speech and gesture, and the parallel effects of grammatical development in both modalities. The validity of a communicative account of interlanguage grammar in this domain is tested by taking the cohesive properties of the gesture-speech ensemble into account. Specifically, I investigate whether learners use gestures to compensate for and to license over-explicit reference in speech. The results rule out a communicative account for the spoken variety of maintained reference. In contrast, cohesive gestures are found to be multi-functional. While the presence of cohesive gestures is not communicatively motivated, their spatial realisation is. It is suggested that gestures are exploited as a grammatical communication strategy to disambiguate speech wherever possible, but that they may also be doing speaker-internal work. The methodological importance of considering L2 gestures when studying grammar is also discussed.},
  author       = {Gullberg, Marianne},
  editor       = {McCafferty, Stephen and Gale, Stam},
  isbn         = {978-0-8058-6053-5},
  keyword      = {communication strategy,visibility,discourse,information structure,reference tracking,gesture,second language acquisition},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {185--210},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Gesture: Second language acquisition and classroom research},
  title        = {A helping hand? Gestures, L2 learners, and grammar},
  year         = {2008},
}