Gestures, referents, and anaphoric linkage in learner varieties
Gestures, referents, and anaphoric linkage in learner varieties. In C. Dimroth, & M. Starren (Eds.
), Information structure, linguistic structure and the dynamics of language acquisition.
(pp. 311-328). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
This paper discusses how the gestural modality can contribute to our understanding of anaphoric linkage in learner varieties, focusing on gestural anaphoric linkage marking the introduction, maintenance, and shift of reference in story retellings by learners of French and Swedish. The comparison of gestural anaphoric linkage in native and non-native varieties reveals what appears to be a particular learner variety of gestural cohesion, which closely reflects the characteristics of anaphoric linkage in learners' speech. Specifically, particular forms co-occur with anaphoric gestures depending on the information organisation in discourse. The typical nominal over-marking of maintained referents or topic elements in speech is mirrored by gestural (over-)marking of the same items. The paper discusses two ways in which this finding may further the understanding of anaphoric over-explicitness of learner varieties. An addressee-based communicative perspective on anaphoric linkage highlights how over-marking in gesture and speech may be related to issues of hyper-clarity and ambiguity. An alternative speaker-based perspective is also explored in which anaphoric over-marking is seen as related to L2 speech planning.