About UAlberta's Augustana Campus


Paula Marentette, PhD


Augustana Campus

Social Sciences

About Me

Data collection for the representational gesture study

We are currently collecting data from 3-year-old children for a study examining how children communicate information about objects. We expect to collect data through January 2019. If you are interested in having your child participate in this study, please contact us at paula@ualberta.ca


The Language and Communication Lab is located on the 3rd floor of Founders' Hall. 

When you are visiting the lab, please use the short-term parking area between Founders' and the First Year Complex. To get to this area, head up the hill on 44 Ave, east of 50th Street. Drive all the way around until you see the back of Founders' Hall and park as close as you can to this door. This is the elevator entrance, a thing admired by most preschoolers! Please activate your flashers. You will be at the lab for under an hour, so you can safely ignore the sign that says "Towing Enforced". 

If you prefer, there is visitor parking in front of the Faith and Life Building. Just ask anyone to point you in the direction of Founders' Hall. 


Representational Gesture and Symbolic Development

We have completed a successful pilot study with 3-year-olds and adults using a between-subjects task in which children are asked to tell a puppet how to use everyday objects or show the puppet how to use them. Data collection for this project is ongoing. 

Pilot study results:
Marentette, P., & Inaba, C. (2017). Iconic representation of form and function in pantomime and gesture. Poster presented at Types of Iconicity in Language Use, Development and Processing, Iconicity Focus Group Workshop, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, July 6-7.

Autobiographical and Fictional Narratives

Data collection for this study is complete and we are writing the manuscripts. This study examines narrative development in the 8- to 11-year-old age group. In particular, we asked children to tell some stories about their own experiences and to watch a cartoon and retell that story. 

Marentette, P., Suvanto, M., Furman, R., MacLurg, A., & Nicoladis, E. (2018). Intraindividual differences in iconic gesture use in children's narratives. Paper presented at International Society for Gesture Studies, Cape Town, South Africa, July 4-8.

Marentette, P., Suvanto, M., Furman, R., & Nicoladis, E. (2017). Pantomime and gesture in children's narratives: Are they distinct? Poster presented at Language as a Form of Action, Rome, June 21-23.

Marentette, P., Furman, R., MacLurg, A., Suvanto, M., & Nicoladis, E. (2016). Children’s use of depiction in autobiographical and fictional narratives. Paper presented at the Embodied and Situated Language Processing Conference, Pucón, Chile, October 6-9.


There is a strong parallel between what I teach and how I teach. I am a developmental psychologist, with a particular interest in cognitive development. I teach students about how children think and how their thinking changes over the course of development. My primary objective for students is to increase the rigour and sophistication of their own thought (that is, I expect their thinking processes to change with their own development). Given this, it is not a surprise that I apply the principles I teach to the students I am teaching.

Courses Taught

PSY 101/2 - Basic Psychological Processes/Individual and Social Behaviour
PSY 213 - Statistical Methods for Psychology
PSY 256 - Developmental Psychology
PSY 263 - Memory and Cognition
PSY 267 - Sensation and Perception
PSY 302 - Developmental Seminar
PSY 361/362 - Cognitive Development
PSY 373 - Psycholinguistics 
PSY 471 - Language Acquisition
LAN 101 - Introduction to Linguistic Analysis