Cross-modal investigation of event component omissions in language development: A comparison of signing and speaking children
Sumer, B., & Özyürek, A.
Cross-modal investigation of event component omissions in language development: A comparison of signing and speaking children. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 37
(8), 1023-1039. doi:10.1080/23273798.2022.2042336.
Language development research suggests a universal tendency for children to be under- informative in narrating motion events by omitting components such as Path, Manner or Ground. However, this assumption has not been tested for children acquiring sign language. Due to the affordances of the visual-spatial modality of sign languages for iconic expression, signing children might omit event components less frequently than speaking children. Here we analysed motion event descriptions elicited from deaf children (4–10 years) acquiring Turkish Sign Language (TİD) and their Turkish-speaking peers. While children omitted all types of event components more often than adults, signing children and adults encoded more Path and Manner in TİD than their peers in Turkish. These results provide more evidence for a general universal tendency for children to omit event components as well as a modality bias for sign languages to encode both Manner and Path more frequently than spoken languages.