The development of two pragmatic gestures of the so-called <i>Open Hand Supine family</i> in Italian children

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This study examines the use of two recurring pragmatic gestures, Palm Presentation or PP and Palm with a Lateral Movement or PL gestures (Kendon 2004), in Italian children aged between 4 and 10. Results indicate that PP is absent in 4-and 5-year-olds, while PL is observed in association with crystallized expressions. In contrast, older children use both PP and PL in contexts similar to adults. The appearance of such gestures seems connected to the increasing ability to structure a narrative, since it is observed in the use of different temporal and meta-discursive connectives, and to exercise rhetorical control over one&#8217;s own discourse, since it is also observed in the usage of connectives serving as modulators.


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