Our article is concerned with a group of 4, 7 and 10 years-old Italian children, and a group of French speakers learners of Italian. The task we proposed to them was the description of a picture. The aim of the analysis is to show the differences and the common points between the way the adults and the children conceptualise this sort of task. We will show, amongst different things, that the expression of the deictic relations appear lately, or anyway less consistent, than any other topological relations do in 4 years-old children as in basic adult learners (1). We will also show that the global anchoring (the one who refers to the picture or to the big entities), is consistently neglected by the youngest children and relatively taken into account by the basic learners (2). We will explain the first point through cognitive reasons. The children have to develop the concept of space, and the first relations they develop are concerned with the topological space, which is the way entities can be situated in the space one in relation to the other independently from the point of view. But why this development should be equally valid for the adult learners of Italian? The reason could be that the deictic dimension demand a relation between the entities and the speaker at the same time, which involves a more complex perspective than the one needed by the topological dimension, which is probably easier to be expressed by an adult basic learner who has limited linguistic means. The differences between the way Italian and French express the topological and the deictic dimensions are not enough to be able to explain the observed development. As to the last point, we will furnish explications of cognitive nature for the children and of communicative nature for the adults. If the children neglect the global anchoring in the spatial description, it depends probably on the "egocentric" perspective which normally characterise children until they are ten years-old. The situation is completely different for the adults, because their problems with some kind of relations depend on which is the thing they are focusing their attention on, or better, on what is communicatively more urgent to express when they are facing a cognitively complex task.

L'expression des relations spatiales en italien langue maternelle et langue étrangère

GIULIANO, PATRIZIA;GRECO, PAOLO
2003

Abstract

Our article is concerned with a group of 4, 7 and 10 years-old Italian children, and a group of French speakers learners of Italian. The task we proposed to them was the description of a picture. The aim of the analysis is to show the differences and the common points between the way the adults and the children conceptualise this sort of task. We will show, amongst different things, that the expression of the deictic relations appear lately, or anyway less consistent, than any other topological relations do in 4 years-old children as in basic adult learners (1). We will also show that the global anchoring (the one who refers to the picture or to the big entities), is consistently neglected by the youngest children and relatively taken into account by the basic learners (2). We will explain the first point through cognitive reasons. The children have to develop the concept of space, and the first relations they develop are concerned with the topological space, which is the way entities can be situated in the space one in relation to the other independently from the point of view. But why this development should be equally valid for the adult learners of Italian? The reason could be that the deictic dimension demand a relation between the entities and the speaker at the same time, which involves a more complex perspective than the one needed by the topological dimension, which is probably easier to be expressed by an adult basic learner who has limited linguistic means. The differences between the way Italian and French express the topological and the deictic dimensions are not enough to be able to explain the observed development. As to the last point, we will furnish explications of cognitive nature for the children and of communicative nature for the adults. If the children neglect the global anchoring in the spatial description, it depends probably on the "egocentric" perspective which normally characterise children until they are ten years-old. The situation is completely different for the adults, because their problems with some kind of relations depend on which is the thing they are focusing their attention on, or better, on what is communicatively more urgent to express when they are facing a cognitively complex task.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/469600
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