The Natural Order of Events: speakers of Polish do not follow the pattern

Monika Boruta-Żywiczyńska, Marek Placiński



Research on constituent order is informative about language development and change, since constituent order is one of the earliest properties of language learned by children, and it displays a systematic variation across the languages of the world (Goldin-Meadow et al., 2008), including sign languages (Napoli & Sutton-Spence, 2014). Nonverbal communication in language evolution studies is currently in focus due to the gestural primacy hypothesis, which posits that language could have first emerged as a gestural/pantomimic system and subsequently evolved into primarily vocal communication (Żywiczyński & Wacewicz, 2015; Żywiczyński, 2018). In this paper, we review our earlier work on constituent order in pantomimic production, and complement it with two studies which investigated the influence of constituent order on comprehension. We conclude that constituent order has no influence on comprehension of pantomime.


natural order of events; language evolution; nonverbal communication; linear order; syntax; pantomime

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