HKU Home Faculty of Arts
About the School
News & Events
Study Abroad
Scholarships & Prizes
Career Planning
CPLL Courses
Contact Us
news and events
News List | << Previous News | Next News >>
Seminar: Cognitive Hands: What Gestures Tell US About Bilingualism and Language Development
Date: 21 November 2012 

Spanish programme of School of Modern Languages and Cultures cordially invite you to attend Spanish Research Seminar. Details are as follows:

Cognitive Hands: What Gestures Tell US About Bilingualism and Language Development

Mr. Francisco Meizoso

Date: November 21, 2012 (Wednesday)
Time: 5 pm - 6:20 pm
Venue: CPD-2.14
Synopsis of the seminar:
In recent years the study of hand gestures and their interaction with speech (see for example Kendon, 2004, and McNeill, 1992, 2000, 2005) has gained considerable traction, helping to bring attention to the non verbal components of communication that were, for a long time, relegated to the periphery of language, if given any role at all. Special interest has been placed on the confluence of two languages on the same individual and on how, following the work of Dan Slobin (1996) and Leornard Talmy (2000) on linguistic relativity and typology, particular language constructions favor certain spatial and temporal conceptualizations over others, as it is revealed through the speech-gesture interface (see Stam, 2001, Negueruela, Lantolf et al, 2004, Choi and Lantolf, 2008, or Brown and Gullberg, 2008 among others.)
This presentation focuses on "the use of gesture for intrapersonal function"(McCaerty and Gullberg, 2008, p. 139) of two different bilingual populations: one formed by advanced, near native L2 speakers of English and Spanish, and a second one constituted by hearing speakers who, having been born to deaf parents, grew up developing a bimodal, bilingual linguistic interface, that borrows elements from both the manual and spoken modalities. Results exemplify the very specific language development pattern of bilinguals, a population with one set of life experiences, but who possess more than one set of linguistic repertoires to channel through the expression of these experiences. The underlying conceptual structure of bilinguals is not simply the result of adding the conceptual structures of individual languages, but rather a more complex entity that provides some insight into language development and the "permanent impermanence" of signs (see Valsiner 2001).
Bio of the speaker:
Francisco Meizoso is a Lecturer in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University in New York City. Previously he worked at the Department of Modern Languages at Fairfield University in Connecticut, where he directed the Language Resource Center and taught courses in Spanish Language and Linguistics. His most recent research focuses on the relationship between speech and gesture and other forms of non-verbal communication across bilingual populations and second language learners.
Language used: English
All are welcome, no registration required. For enquiries, please contact Mr. Álvaro Acosta Corte at

Home | Contact Us back to top