• communication development;
  • pointing gestures;
  • language;
  • hemispheric specialization;
  • toddlers;
  • developmental quotient


The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between hand preference for communicative gestures and language during development. Hand preference for pointing gestures and level of language were assessed in 46 toddlers between 12 and 30 months of age. Results showed a right-hand preference for pointing and the use of a developmental quotient (DQ) for language revealed a significant correlation between the degree of hand preference and DQ for language in children with a quotient above 100. Thus, these children were more right-handed for pointing gestures as DQ increased. These results highlight the close association between the development of hand preference for pointing and the speed of language development, suggesting a new direction for studies of language–gesture links in toddlers. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 55: 757–765, 2013.