Navigation Links
Pointing is infants' first communicative gesture
Date:2/24/2014

Catalan researchers have studied the acquisition and development of language in babies on the basis of the temporary coordination of gestures and speech. The results are the first in showing how and when they acquire the pattern of coordination between the two elements which allows them to communicate very early on.

A new study carried out by two researchers from the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona analyses the temporary coordination between gestures and speech in babies during the very early stages of language development, from the babbling period until the production of their first words.

The results, published in the journal Speech Communication, are the first to show how and when babies acquire the coordination between gesture and speech.

"There are now more and more investigations that show that the study of language and human communication can not be carried out only with an analysis of speech," Nria Esteve Gibert, one of the authors, explained to SINC.

In fact, in communicative interactions meanings and emotions are transmitted through speech and non-verbal elements (hand gestures, facial expressions or body position).

"Our analysis indicates that it is during the transition between the babbling period and first words (that is to say, before the infant is capable of producing two joined words, one after the other), that the gestural system and system of speech are already closely linked," affirmed Esteve Gibert.

According to the authors, this study demonstrates the vision that speech and body language are two elements required for studying human communication, as there are more and more indications that both modes are developed at the same time and that they are closely coordinated, both semantically and temporarily.

The aim of this pioneering work was to investigate the process of acquisition and development of language in relation to the temporary coordination of gestures and speech.

In order to do so, the researchers filmed four babies, born into Catalan-speaking families, while they played with their parents at home, from when the children were aged 11 to when they reached 19 months old.

"These recordings were used to investigate when children started to combine gesture and speech in the same way as adults and if when they combine the two modes, the patterns of temporary coordination between gesture and speech are appropriate," Gibert continued.

In total, more than 4,500 communicative acts produced by the babies across the analysed months, through 24 hours of recordings, were obtained, which have been studied from the point of view of the gestures and of the acoustic properties of the vocalisations produced by the children.

"Special importance has been given to the analysis of the temporary coordination between speech and the act of pointing, because this gesture is crucial in the linguistic and cognitive development of language since it represents the first communicative gesture that babies are capable of understanding and producing," the expert pointed out.

Moreover, it is noted that the correct development of the coordination is closely linked with the future linguistic abilities of the child at a more advanced stage.

Combination of gesture and speech

During the babbling stage babies still produce many gestures without combining them with vocalisations. However, from the beginning of the period in which they start to produce their first words (four words during half an hour of recording), babies produce the majority of hand gestures in combination with vocalisations, the same as adults.

Furthermore, on analysing the combinations of gesture and vocalisation that the babies produce at this early age we see that most of the gestures that they combine with vocalisations are deictic gestures (pointing and reaching) with a declarative communicative intention (to inform) more than a commanding intention (to achieve that object).

"Already in the first combinations of gesture with vocalisation, the pattern of temporary coordination of both modes (which consists in synchronising the interval of time more prominent in the deictic gesture with the interval of time more prominent in the vocalisation) is very similar to that of adults," concluded Esteve Gibert.


'/>"/>
Contact: SINC Agency
info@agenciasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Pinpointing genes that control breast cancer key in finding treatments
2. Gut microbiota research: Pinpointing a moving target
3. Some UK Tourists Find Overseas Travel Disappointing Because It’s Just Not British Enough
4. ASSURE study of experimental agent to raise HDL yields disappointing and surprising results
5. Depressed moms behavior may play role in infants sleep problems
6. Research shows efficacy of treatment model developed at Women & Infants
7. Low-Income Mothers May Overfeed Their Infants
8. Gut flora affects maturation of B cells in infants
9. Phthalates in PVC floors taken up by the body in infants
10. Disease that stunts infants growth traced to same gene that makes kids grow too fast
11. Infants cant distinguish between large and small groups
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... An influential resource amongst nurses and ... to shed lights on the variety of topics detailing why we appreciate nurses in ... why this career has gone from being in a major recession to one of ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... , ... Beleza Medspa has initiated a new program to assist ... first time that Coolsculpting is being used for for more than just cosmetic purposes. ... meet the prescribed body-fat standard, measured by the circumference-based tape method. The tape-test ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Despite last week’s media reports hinting ... and company to wait until March 2017 for an interest rate increase, according to ... College of Business. , “The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) dot charts are of ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Georgia State University ... specialty academic programs. , Answering to the increasing demand for curricular specializations, the ... law, and environmental and land use law. ,  , “The demand for lawyers ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... There are nearly 14.5 million people living with and beyond ... Sunday, June 5, 2016, communities around the world will gather to recognize these cancer ... Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual worldwide Celebration of Life that is held on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... India , May 26, 2016 ... drugs market growth is the emergence of new treatments. ... astaxanthin therapies for osteoarthritis treatment. The therapy is expected ... Moreover, Arthritis Research UK is conducting studies to develop ... arcOGEN study, where the genes involved in osteoarthritis are ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25,2016 FDA ... near-infrared Cellvizio platform for urological and surgical applications ... MKEAY) inventor of Cellvizio®, the multidisciplinary confocal laser ... milestone in the US with the 12 th ... Drug Administration (FDA). This new FDA clearance covers ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... 2016  Zymo Research Corp. announced today the ... materials that help researchers obtain the most accurate ... The rapid growth of the study of microbiomes ... standard methods to improve the reproducibility and quality ... at every step of the measurement process including ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: