Maternal mental state talk and infants' early gestural communication

Virginia Slaughter*, Candida C. Peterson, Malinda Carpenter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Twenty-four infants were tested monthly for the production Of imperative and declarative gestures between 0; 9 and 1; 3 and concurrent mother-infant free-play sessions were conducted at 0; 9, 1; 0 and 1; 3 (Carpenter, Nagell & Tomasello, 1998). Free-play transcripts were subsequently coded for maternal talk about mental states. Results revealed that the earlier infants produced imperative gestures, the more frequently their mothers made reference to the infants' own volitional states (want, try, need, etc.) at 1; 3. The same relation also emerged using maternal reports of their infants' gestural communication on a standard language development measure. These results indicate that mothers' talk about desires and intentions is linked to their infants' early developing communicative competence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1074
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of child language
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

Keywords

  • MIND-MINDEDNESS
  • INTENTIONAL ACTION
  • LANGUAGE
  • MOTHERS
  • CHILDRENS
  • CONVERSATIONS
  • ACQUISITION
  • DISCOURSE
  • ATTENTION
  • STANCE

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