Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1568-1475
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9773
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The ubiquity of index-finger pointing, and its early emergence in child development, has suggested that such pointing may be biologically-determined. However, cross-cultural variation in the form of pointing has also been noted, with some observations of middle-finger pointing. Here we examine the limited corpus of publically-available video data on the signs and gestures of Genie, a child who suffered severe social and linguistic deprivation throughout her childhood. These data suggest that Genie favored the use of the middle finger in points, in ASL signs that have an index-finger target handshape, and in object exploration. We speculate that middle-finger pointing in children may reflect an articulatory preference that is not limited to pointing, but that may encompass a range of manual behaviors.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): American Sign Language (ASL); Genie; index finger; middle finger; pointing
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