We thank Lin Dongxian, Yi Salomo, Laura Shneidman, and Margret van Beuningen for their help with recruiting families. Thanks to Mireille Hassemer, Marloes van der Goot, Cornelia Seitz, and Merel Fokkema for data coding. We owe special thanks to the families in Mexico, the Netherlands, and China who offered us insights into their daily lives and allowed us to observe them at home.
Sociocultural Settings Influence the Emergence of Prelinguistic Deictic Gestures
Article first published online: 16 DEC 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 84, Issue 4, pages 1296–1307, July/August 2013
How to Cite
Salomo, D. and Liszkowski, U. (2013), Sociocultural Settings Influence the Emergence of Prelinguistic Deictic Gestures. Child Development, 84: 1296–1307. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12026
- Issue published online: 12 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 16 DEC 2012
Daily activities of forty-eight 8- to 15-month-olds and their interlocutors were observed to test for the presence and frequency of triadic joint actions and deictic gestures across three different cultures: Yucatec-Mayans (Mexico), Dutch (Netherlands), and Shanghai-Chinese (China). The amount of joint action and deictic gestures to which infants were exposed differed systematically across settings, allowing testing for the role of social–interactional input in the ontogeny of prelinguistic gestures. Infants gestured more and at an earlier age depending on the amount of joint action and gestures infants were exposed to, revealing early prelinguistic sociocultural differences. The study shows that the emergence of basic prelinguistic gestures is socially mediated, suggesting that others' actions structure the ontogeny of human communication from early on.