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The contributions of child and caregiver to referential and expressive language

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2008

Beverly A. Goldfield*
Affiliation:
Harvard University
*
Beverly A. Goldfield, Department of Psychology, Harvard University, William James Hall, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Abstract

Twelve infants were observed longitudinally to examine the relationship of children's object play and social behavior and maternal object and social-centered talk to referential and expressive language. Measures of child behavior and maternal language were coded from play sessions videotaped in the home at 12, 15, and 18 months of age; mothers recorded their babies' first 50 words. Most children acquired a balanced distribution of object labels and social-centered words and phrases; a few children evidenced a more extreme “style.” More object labels were acquired by children who more often used a toy to engage mother and who had mothers who more often talked about toys. More social-centered speech was associated with children's nontoy-mediated social attention and more maternal behavior-focused speech.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1987

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