Linguistics Colloquium: Raz Tenenbaum

29/03/2022 - 14:00 - 15:30

Raz Tenenbaum, University of Haifa

Title: Insights from toddler's gestures - Clinical and research implications


It is well established that gestures have an important role in communication development in early childhood (McNeill, 1992; Goldin-Meadow, 2015; Volterra et al., 2017). Still, there are many unanswered questions about how toddlers acquire gestures and how they use them as part of their multi-modal communication.

In this lecture, we will describe the types of gestures that are typically used by toddlers and discuss the function of the toddler's gestures while interacting with their parent in natural contexts. We will also examine the structure of the toddler's gestures using a coding scheme of structural components such as: hand shape, direction and position of the gesture, body organ, touch and length. We will examine participation patterns of the toddlers using gestures and discuss the way in which the toddler's gestures are influenced by the physical and linguistic context in which the gesture is created.

In addition, we will discuss what are the implications for required supports to enable toddlers with complex disabilities to create gestures as part of their multi-modal communication.

This lecture is based on the findings of my doctoral research under the supervision of Professor Irit Meir, Professor Rachel Yifat and Dr. Bracha Nir.



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