Speaker: Henriette Hendriks (University of Cambridge)
Title: Running or crossing: Children's expression of voluntary motion in English, French and German
Abstract: Much research has focused on the expression of voluntary motion within a typological perspective (Slobin, 2004; Talmy, 2000). The present study contributes to this body of research by comparing how children (three to ten years) and adults narrated animated cartoons in English and German (satellite-framed languages) vs. French (verb-framed). The cartoons showed agents displacing themselves in variable Manners and along different Paths. Results show an increase with age across languages in how much information participants expressed. However, at all ages, more motion information was encoded in English and German than in French. Furthermore, language-specific features impacted content and its organization within and across utterances in discourse. Finally, event properties influenced descriptions showing more expressed information with vertical motion (up and down) than with other items (across, control). The discussion highlights the joint impact of cognitive and typological features on language development, suggesting directions for future research.
425 Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Medical School, Doorway 3, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG