Cognitive Semiotics Seminar: "Growing into sign use in the second year of life and beyond" (Monika Boruta-Zywiczynska, NCU Torun)

1 december 2022 15:00 till 17:00 Seminarium

Monika will present some of the theoretical background but focus on preliminary results from her ongoing PhD project at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland. She likes to describe herself as "an ally of cognitive semiotics", but I think that with every step she is coming closer than so! :) Let us see on Thursday! The talk will cover exciting new findings on the emergence of the "sign function" and the transition from signals to signs in ontogeny. It will be only on zoon, so welcome in via the usual link, with cameras on (at least at the beginning and at the end).

Semiotic development is a process that is composed of different stages in a child’s life and is bound to their experience. First, children repeat expressions of others without much understanding; later, they gain knowledge and grow to see the link between an expression and an object a particular expression represents (e.g., Piaget 1962; Zlatev 2013). This conscious knowledge is form of second order consciousness, or “insight". Signs (as opposed to signals, such as cries and spontaneous facial expressions) may take various forms: isolated words or complex sentences, but also gestures, or a polysemiotic mixture of the two (Zlatev 2019).    In my PhD project, I'm taking an attempt to answer several questions, including: Can we establish in what semiotic system the sign function appears first: speech or gesture?; and: What role does iconicity play in the emergence of sign function? In my presentation I discuss growing into sign use: how children gradually gain sign insight, what contributes to their linguistic abilities, and when they notice that signs may bear various meanings. I also describe a guessing-game based on images, that was the core of the experimental part of the PhD project. I present video data I have collected and talk through the observations I have made about: (1) the recurring mistakes children make, (2) the misleading pointing gesture found in the game, and (3) the numerical data that lends perspectives on how sign insight changes in three age groups: 2-year-olds, 2.5-year-olds and 3-year-olds.

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1 december 2022 15:00 till 17:00



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