Verbal Labeling of Self and Others
Spontaneous vocalizations, although seen in most laboratory situations, are often ignored because of their low frequency of occurrence or their lack of consistency across subjects. Much to our surprise, the infants’ language production during Picture Study I was neither infrequent nor unsystematic. In this study, one-half of the 16- to 18-month-olds labeled spontaneously at least one of the slides. The first two social labels used were “baby” and “mommy,” with the infants’ verbal repertoire expanding with age to include proper names, “boy,” “girl,” “man,” and “lady.” Many of these labels were applied appropriately in terms of gender, age, and familiarity—suggesting that infants categorize the social world in terms of these dimensions. Since the use of social labels in Picture Study I coincided with the advent of mark recognition in Mirror Study I, it was thought that eliciting verbal labels for self representations might provide an additional and rich source of information about the development of self recognition.
KeywordsVerbal Production Personal Pronoun Verbal Label Verbal Comprehension Female Baby
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