Publication details [#62243]

Sierra, Sylvia. 2017. “Buffy sings to Cody”: A multimodal analysis of mother and pre-lingual-infant question–response sequences. Journal of Pragmatics 110 : 50–62.
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This paper explores how singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie and her pre-lingual infant son, Cody, engage with each other in the sequential turn-taking process of conversation on a 1978 episode of Sesame Street. A multimodal assay shows that Cody reckons on the audible prosodic contours of his mother's questions to supply answers by generating cries and pertinent embodied behavior at “transition relevance places” (Sacks et al., 1974). Buffy handles her son's replies to her questions as consequential parts of the interaction, and this in turn backs her son's language socialization. This inquiry adds to grasping how communication before language can happen through a dependency on prosody and via cries and pertinent embodied behavior, and how turn-taking and sequencing can also be supported via prosody and singing, which are at last conducive to language socialization.