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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
Why Bilingual Education Policy Is Needed: A Philosophical Response to the Critics

Why Bilingual Education Policy Is Needed: A Philosophical Response to the Critics

What role does bilingual education policy have in the educational opportunity structure for heritage language (HL) students? In what ways might bilingual education enhance students' self-determination? In this article, I shall argue that the various criticisms against bilingual education policy are myopic and focused on nostalgic notions of Americanization and assimilation, which often cost heritage language students a secure sense of cultural identity, an expansive social context of choice, and consequently, their self-determination. When students have a secure sense of authenticity in their cultural identity, and a favorable social context within which to make important life choices, they then have the best chance of become self-determining. Thus, I examine how bilingual education policy should be justified based on the principle of self-determination.

Multilingual Research in Spanish: Annotated Bibliography

Multilingual Research in Spanish: Annotated Bibliography

The annotated bibliography seeks to sketch a general picture of the nature and scope of the research on multilingualism supplied in Spanish. A number of authors writing in this language have taken interest in a wide variety of aspect of multilingualism. The areas that seem to be more outstanding so far are Education, Linguistic Policies, (Foreign) Language Acquisition and Sociolinguistics.

Author: Laura Sanchez

Trilingual Primary Education in Europe (TPEE-project)

Trilingual Primary Education in Europe (TPEE-project)

The project has conducted an inventory of provisions for trilingual primary education in the minority language communities in the member states of the European Union. New initiatives and recent developments in the field of trilingual primary education are considered to be of special interest to our target groups.

The report includes 10 reports covering 12 cases on the provisions for trilingual primary education in 7 member states of the  European Union: Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain. It does not represent the whole of the provisions for trilingual primary education in all minority language communities of the European Union.

Source:  Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning

Year: 2011

Barn berättar på svenska och engelska: En explorativ studie om narrativer hos flerspråkiga barn i tidig skolålder

Barn berättar på svenska och engelska: En explorativ studie om narrativer hos flerspråkiga barn i tidig skolålder

Growing up in a multilingual environment is becoming more common in today’s society. In spite of this, there is limited knowledge of language assessment of multilingual children with language impairment.

Source:  Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Logopedi

Year: 2012

Annual Report of the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute

Annual Report of the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute

Source:  Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute

Year: 2012

Editors:  Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute

The Corsican  language in education in Slovenia

The Corsican language in education in Slovenia

Source: European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning

Year: 2012

Editors: mercator

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

"(c) 05/02/2011 - Disclaimer - Copyright European Union National Institutes for Culture" "This website has been funded with support from the European Commission. " This website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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