Le développement multimodal de la communication au cours de la petite enfance Etude en contexte francophone

Abstract : The aim of this thesis is to study the development of multimodal communication in young French children aged from 18 months to 3 years and a half while acquiring the French language. We will focus on the emergence and development of gestures, gesture-word combinations and language and will try to understand the role of gesture in the early stages of language acquisition. The interest of this research is that it fills the gap between (1) research on the young child first gestures during the pre-verbal period and the period during which he begins to acquire his mother tongue (the appearance of one-word and two-words sets in his productions) AND (2) research about older children (age 6 and older) and adults who both communicate using their mother tongue and co-speech gestures. Our corpus is composed of 154 videos of young children playing with an adult and a house game set (triadic situation). Using these data, we first wanted to test the hypothesis that the production of communicative gestures and the emergence of gesture-word combinations both predict the production of two-words speech in young children (as it has already been shown for Italian and American children). In fact, our results point to a more general developmental scheme with gesture+Xwords combination always preceding the upcoming of X+1words verbal utterances. Gesture use does play a role in the development of language at early stages as well as at later stages, when the child begins to produce long sentences (composed of more than two words) and combines them with co-speech gestures.. Our second objective was to observe qualitative changes in the child's communicative behavior in a triadic situation, and more precisely to study the communicative resources the child uses to express sequences of events (scripts related to playful activities) which require not one, but two or more predicates. Again, it appears that gestures and bimodal combinations are integrated within the first attempts to produce verbalizations. This work confirms that gesture use does play a role in language development. A better understanding of these gestures will allow us a better understanding of child development and help us to identify earlier and more effectively developmental disorders in children. In addition, if there already is an index to measure the development of language performance, this research questions the creation of an index that can assess the multimodal communicative performance, that is to say the creation of an index taking into account all the semiotic resources mobilized by the child and not just verbal language.
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Aurore Batista. Le développement multimodal de la communication au cours de la petite enfance Etude en contexte francophone. Linguistique. Université de Grenoble, 2012. Français. ⟨tel-00741600⟩

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