Gestures as a Potential Cue to Children's Verb Learning

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • SSHRC Awarded IG 2012: Verbs are harder than nouns for children to learn. This research project will test two central hypotheses about verb learning in children: First, in experimental situations, children benefit from co-speech gesture as shown by enhanced verb learning. Second, in everyday interaction, children use the co-speech gesture they observe to discern the meaning of verbs. Evaluation of these claims will enable us to identify the effectiveness of co-speech gesture as a support for a particularly challenging area of language acquisition.

    We have designed both experimental and observational studies to address our central questions: First, can children use gestures to support verb learning? Second, do children use gestures to support verb learning? We anticipate that the results of these studies will reveal that co-speech gesture can be used experimentally to enhance verb learning, and further that children whose parents use co-speech gesture have a linguistic advantage.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Research Material
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International