Article published in:Vocalize to Localize II
Edited by Christian Abry, Anne Vilain and Jean-Luc Schwartz
[Interaction Studies 6:2] 2005
► pp. 223–252
Gestural-vocal deixis and representational skills in early language development
Elena Antinoro Pizzuto | Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, National Research Council, Rome
Micaela Capobianco | University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Department of Psychology of Developmental Processes and Socialization
Antonella Devescovi | University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Department of Psychology of Developmental Processes and Socialization
This study explores the use of deictic gestures, vocalizations and words compared to content-loaded, or representational gestures and words in children’s early one- and two-element utterances. We analyze the spontaneous production of four children, observed longitudinally from 10–12 to 24–25 months of age, focusing on the components of children’s utterances (deictic vs. representational), the information encoded, and the temporal relationship between gestures and vocalizations or words that were produced in combination. Results indicate that while the gestural and vocal modalities are meaningfully and temporally integrated form the earliest stages, deictic and representational elements are unevenly distributed in the gestural vs. the vocal modality, and in one vs. two-element utterances. The findings suggest that while gestural deixis plays a primary role in allowing children to define and articulate their vocal productions, representational skills appear to be markedly more constrained in the gestural as compared to the vocal modality.
Keywords: early language, gestures, words, vocalizations, deictic, representational
Published online: 30 September 2005
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