~ Symposium ~
Acquisition, Multilingualism and Gesture in Typical and Atypical Populations
Department of Linguistics, Wits University, Johannesburg
17 – 18 November 2015
Postgraduate Seminar Room South West Engineering Building, Braamfontein Campus
This symposium aims to share local and international research on the multilingualism, development of language and gesture in typical and atypical populations. This symposium is part of a cross-disciplinary initiative disseminate and share information on language. This meeting is an outreach output of a 4 year research project Gesture and Language development across Romance and Bantu languages (Gestland) funded by the Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES).
The Gestland project brings into collaborative work of four research teams; for Bantu languages Dr Ramona Kunene Nicolas (Wits, SA) and Prof Heather Brookes, UCT (SA); and for Romance languages Prof Jean-Marc Colletta (University of Stendhal, France) and Prof Olga Capirci (National Research Council, Italy) whose expertise is on multimodality in human interaction, language acquisition, gesture and cognition.
From a scientific level, the programme tests the validity of a gesture task to assess early lexical abilities in children of different countries, explores the cognitive aspect of representational gesture in early and late childhood and investigates the effect of linguistic and cultural constraints on multimodal language production in comparing two Romance and two Bantu languages. The exchange programme will extend the expertise of each one of the four research units involved.
The outcome of the exchange is the introduction of a new language assessment tool for young children in South Africa and Framce and the training of young researchers to do psycholinguistics and research on gesture and multimodality in human interaction in South Africa as well as in Europe. The exchange also aims at establishing a sustained collaboration with partners from the Global South in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and at reinforcing the cooperation between the two European partners in Rome and Grenoble.
POSTGRADUATE SEMINAR ROOM, South West Engineering Building, Braamfontein Campus East