Investigating Natural Word Order via Pantomime: Research Report

Marek Placiński, Monika Boruta-Żywiczyńska
2019 Theoria et Historia Scientiarum  
Inquiry into language evolution has recently focused on the question of the natural word order, i.e. a word order which may be primary in a cognitive and phylogenetic sense (Dryer, 2005; Pagel, 2009; Gell-Mann and Ruhlen, 2011) . Some substantial insights into this topic originate in gesture and sign studies. Research by Goldin-Meadow et al. (2008) has inspired scientists to use the silent gesture paradigm, which requires participants to narrate events using their hands. The results of the
more » ... revealed that participants tended to produce SOV word order of a transitive event, regardless of the syntax of their native language. The finding was corroborated to a degree in later studies; however, some of them shed more light on the issue (Gibson et al., 2013; Hall et al., 2013; Sandler et al., 2005) . The aim of our study is to test whether the SOV order is dominant when participants communicate transitive events (verbs) with whole-body pantomime.
doi:10.12775/ths.2019.006 fatcat:wobravmsjngtdfxiilhl4mmqhy