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In this section we provide you with key documents in the field of Multilingualism dealing with Language Policies and Language Research.

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Environmental constraints shaping constituent order in emerging communication systems: Structural iconicity, interactive alignment and conventionalization

Environmental constraints shaping constituent order in emerging communication systems: Structural iconicity, interactive alignment and conventionalization

Christensen, P., Fusaroli, R., & Tylén, K. (2015). Environmental Constraints Shaping Constituent Order in Emerging Communication Systems: Structural Iconicity, Interactive Alignment and Conventionalization. Cognition 146, p. 67-80.

Abstract

Where does linguistic structure come from? Recent gesture elicitation studies have indicated that constituent order (corresponding to for instance subject–verb–object, or SVO in English) may be heavily influenced by human cognitive biases constraining gesture production and transmission. Here we explore the alternative hypothesis that syntactic patterns are motivated by multiple environmental and social–interactional constraints that are external to the cognitive domain. In three experiments, we systematically investigate different motivations for structure in the gestural communication of simple transitive events. The first experiment indicates that, if participants communicate about different types of events, manipulation events (e.g. someone throwing a cake) and construction events (e.g. someone baking a cake), they spontaneously and systematically produce different constituent orders, SOV and SVO respectively, thus following the principle of structural iconicity. The second experiment shows that participants’ choice of constituent order is also reliably influenced by social–interactional forces of interactive alignment, that is, the tendency to re-use an interlocutor’s previous choice of constituent order, thus potentially overriding affordances for iconicity. Lastly, the third experiment finds that the relative frequency distribution of referent event types motivates the stabilization and conventionalization of a single constituent order for the communication of different types of events. Together, our results demonstrate that constituent order in emerging gestural communication systems is shaped and stabilized in response to multiple external environmental and social factors: structural iconicity, interactive alignment and distributional frequency.

Keywords

  • Structural iconicity
  • Interactive alignment
  • Conventionalization
  • Gesture
  • Word order
Language Rich Europe - Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe

Language Rich Europe - Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe

The first research stage, captured in this Cambridge University Press publication, offers a platform for the creation of networks and partnerships among language policy makers and practitioners in Europe.

Language Rich Europe - Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe (Arabic)

Language Rich Europe - Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe (Arabic)

The first research stage, captured in this Cambridge University Press publication, offers a platform for the creation of networks and partnerships among language policy makers and practitioners in Europe.

Language Rich Europe - Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe (Bulgarian)

Language Rich Europe - Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe (Bulgarian)

The first research stage, captured in this Cambridge University Press publication, offers a platform for the creation of networks and partnerships among language policy makers and practitioners in Europe.

Language Rich Europe - Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe (Catalan)

Language Rich Europe - Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe (Catalan)

The first research stage, captured in this Cambridge University Press publication, offers a platform for the creation of networks and partnerships among language policy makers and practitioners in Europe.

Language Rich Europe - Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe (Dutch)

Language Rich Europe - Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe (Dutch)

The first research stage, captured in this Cambridge University Press publication, offers a platform for the creation of networks and partnerships among language policy makers and practitioners in Europe.

Language Rich Europe - Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe (Estonian)

Language Rich Europe - Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe (Estonian)

The first research stage, captured in this Cambridge University Press publication, offers a platform for the creation of networks and partnerships among language policy makers and practitioners in Europe.

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ALTE EUROCLIO Federal Union of European Nationalities
European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) European Forum of Vocational Education and Training Federation of European Publishers
Culturelink European Federation of National Institutions for Language CMFE (Community Media Forum Europe)
European Council of Literary Translators' Associations Club de Madrid EEE-YFU
European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education (ECSWE) European Association for Terminology Mercator European Network of Language Diversity Centres
Europa Esperanto Unio - EEU FundaciĆ³n Academia Europea de Yuste EUNIC in Brussels
Eurolang European Council of Artists (ECA) Literature Across frontiers
European Publishers Council European Federation for Intercultural Learning European Theatre Convention
European Coordination of Independent Producers (CEPI) Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) RECIT

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