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Chapter 3

PSY315H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: University Of Manchester, Voice-Onset Time, Joint Attention

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Judy Plantinga

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Chapter 3: Foundations of Language Development in Domain-General Skills and
Communicative Experience
By: Sugetta Royce
The Communicative Function of Language
Desire to communicate provides not only the initial impetus but also ongoing
motivation for language acquisition, so when children fail to be understood, the
failure promotes them to find new and better ways of communicating
Children are more likely to attend to and process language when they hear it in
the context of the communicative interaction
Experiment  American babies exposed to Mandarin either by being read to in
person (12 sessions – 4 to 5 weeks) or by watching a video recording of the
exact same book-reading sessions
oRESULT : infants who directly experienced Mandarin showed effects of
that experience on their ability to hear sound
oInfants who had the same language exposure via the video showed no
effect of their experience
Social gating: social interaction serving a “gating” function, such that infants do
not bother to analyze auditory signals unless they come from live humans
Slightly older children can learn what is on the video if what is on the video is
communicative interaction between two people
Experiment RESULT  children could learn from direct experience in interaction
or from observing other interaction – live or on video
Social Cognitive Skills of Infants
Joint Attention
10 months  ability to relate to another person about an object
oEx. smiling
Primary intersubjectivity: a change from the capacity to share oneself with
others to
Secondary intersubjectivity: the capacity to share one’s experience with others
12 months  Communicative pointing: infant points at and looks at a potential
communicative partner at the same time
10 – 11 months  Gaze following: they turn to look where another person is
9 – 15 months  Joint attention: spending increasing portions of their time with
Joint attentional state is where the child and adult together attend to some third
Infants who are precocious at developing joint attention skills are also more
advanced in later measures of language development
Intention Reading
Intention reading: involves understanding that other people have intentions
(communicative intentions) and understand what those intentions are
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