Elena Levy

Associate Professor

Degree: Ph.D., 1884, University of Chicago
Other webpages: Research Gate
Research Interests: Discourse, gesture, narrative development
Research Synopsis: My main research interest is the development of language and thought in young children, including the coordination of speech with gestures and other forms of nonverbal communication to form a single, unified linguistic system. I am currently analyzing the use of speech, gesture, and other forms of body movement in videorecordings of young children’s spontaneous speech.

I encourage students to conduct research projects in one-on-one student contact. A current example of   undergraduate participation in research is:


Levy, E.T., McNeill, D., and Ritz, E. (in progress). Gestures and the metapragmatic awareness of discourse: A case study of the language routines of a one year old.


Students combine research and direct experience working with learning-disabled children in the UCONN-Stamford Reading Program, in which students work in a public elementary school or an afterschool center with children who are at risk for reading disabilities.

Courses: Psychology of Language, History and Systems of Psychology, Developmental Psychology
Recent publications: Levy, E.T. and McNeill, D. (2015). Narrative Development of Young Children: Gesture, Imagery, and Cohesion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


McNeill, D., Levy, E.T. and Duncan, S. (2015) Gesture and discourse. In Tannen, D., Schiffrin, D. and Hamilton, H. (Eds.), Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Blackwell.


Levy, E.T. and McNeill (2013). Narrative development as symbol formation: Gestures, imagery and the emergence of cohesion. Culture and Psychology, 19(4), 548-469. (Special issue in honor of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Werner and Kaplan, 1963).

Representative Publications:
  1. Levy, E.T. (2011). Constructing and pre-constructing coherent accounts of the social world. Narrative Inquiry, 21:1.


  1. Levy, E.T. (2009-10). The Mediation of Coherent Discourse by Kinesthetic Reenactment: A Case Study of an Autistic Adolescent, Part II. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 29, pp. 41-70.


  1. Levy, E.T. (2008). Pre-construction of third-person elicited narratives: Relationships between short- and long-term language change. Narrative Inquiry, 18:2, 274-298.


  1. Duncan, S., Cassell, J., & Levy, E. (Eds.) (2007). Gesture and the Dynamic Dimension of Language: Essays in Honor of David McNeill. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.



Elena Levy
Contact Information
Mailing AddressUnit 1020
Office LocationBousfield 347