The work reported in this study was partially supported by the Fondazione Monte di Parma (Research Group for Study on Children’s Motor and Language Development, University of Parma), and by research Grant PRIN 2008 “Gestures and Language in Children With Atypical and at Risk Developmental Profiles: Relationships Among Competences, Mother–Child Interaction Modalities and Proposals of Intervention.” We are very grateful to Michael Arbib for his insightful suggestions on an early presentation of this study and to Diane Brentari for her helpful comments on a previous version of the manuscript. We especially thank the parents who participated in the study. We also wish to thank Mark Kanieff for his helpful comments and for the revision of English.
Early Action and Gesture “Vocabulary” and Its Relation With Word Comprehension and Production
Article first published online: 3 FEB 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 83, Issue 2, pages 526–542, March/April 2012
How to Cite
Caselli, M. C., Rinaldi, P., Stefanini, S. and Volterra, V. (2012), Early Action and Gesture “Vocabulary” and Its Relation With Word Comprehension and Production. Child Development, 83: 526–542. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01727.x
- Issue published online: 14 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 3 FEB 2012
Data from 492 Italian infants (8–18 months) were collected with the parental questionnaire MacArthur Bates Communicative Development Inventories to describe early actions and gestures (A-G) “vocabulary” and its relation with spoken vocabulary in both comprehension and production. A-G were more strongly correlated with word comprehension than word production. A clear developmental pattern for the different types of A-G was found. These findings are similar to those of different Western languages, indicating a common biological and cultural basis. The analysis of individual A-G and their relations with early words with a related meaning showed interesting similarities between the production of A-G with and without object manipulation and the comprehension and production of corresponding words. Results indicate that the transition from A-G to spoken language is mediated by word comprehension.