Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Communication and Developmental Milestones

  • Zoe M. Flack
  • David A. Leavens
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3634-1

Synonyms

Definition

Watershed skills that human children develop early in life.

Introduction

Even before birth, children are making sense of the sounds they hear. The human ear is functional in the final trimester, and fetuses respond to a range of auditory stimuli from outside the womb. Evidence suggests that infants are in fact highly sensitive to the sounds they hear from within the womb and newborns can identify sounds from the language to which they have already been exposed while in the womb (May et al. 2011). De Casper and Spence (1986) asked pregnant women to read a short passage of text aloud daily for the last 6 weeks of their pregnancy. At just a few days old, the newborn infants actively sought to hear the speech passage they had heard prenatally, rather than a novel passage. A control group of infants who had not been regularly read to during pregnancy showed no preference for either passage. Taken together, these findings suggest that language...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Acredolo, L., & Goodwin, S. (1988). Symbolic gesturing in normal infants. Child Development, 59, 450–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adamson, L., & MacArthur, D. (1995). Joint attention, affect, and culture. In C. Moore & P. Dunham (Eds.), Joint attention: Its origins and role in development (pp. 189–204). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  3. Anglin, J. M. (1993). Knowing versus learning words. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 58(10), 176–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bates, E., Camaioni, L., & Volterra, V. (1975). Performatives prior to speech. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 21, 205–226.Google Scholar
  5. Bergelson, E., & Swingley, D. (2012). At 6–9 months, human infants know the meanings of many common nouns. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(9), 3253–3258.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1113380109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bloom, P., & Markson, L. (1998). Capacities underlying word learning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2(2), 67–73.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1364-6613(98)01121-8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Brazelton, T. B. (1978). The Brazelton neonatal behavior assessment scale: Introduction. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 43(5–6), 1–13.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1165847.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Butterworth, G. (2003). Pointing is the royal road to language for babies. In S. Kita (Ed.), Pointing: Where language, culture, and cognition meet (pp. 9–33). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  9. Butterworth, G., & Grover, L. (1988). The origins of referential communication in human infancy. In L. Weiskrantz (Ed.), Thought without language (pp. 5–24). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  10. Carey, S., & Bartlett, E. (1978). Acquiring a single new word. Proceedings of the Stanford Child Language Conference, 15, 17–19.Google Scholar
  11. Carpenter, M., & Call, J. (2013). How joint is the joint attention of apes and human infants? In J. Metcalf & H. S. Terrace (Eds.), Agency and joint attention (pp. 49–61). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of the theory of syntax. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  13. Colonnesi, C., Stams, G. J. J. M., Koser, I., & Noom, M. J. (2010). The relation between pointing and language development: A meta-analysis. Developmental Review, 30, 352–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. DeCasper, A. J., & Spence, M. J. (1986). Prenatal maternal speech influences newborns’ perception of speech sounds. Infant Behavior and Development, 9(2), 133–150.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0163-6383(86)90025-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Desrochers, S., Morissette, P., & Ricard, M. (1995). Two perspectives on pointing in infancy. In C. Moore & P. J. Dunham (Eds.), Joint attention: Its origins and role in development (pp. 85–101). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  16. Ganger, J., & Brent, M. R. (2004). Reexamining the vocabulary spurt. Developmental Psychology, 40(4), 621–632.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.40.4.621.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Goldin-Meadow, S., & Butcher, C. (2003). Pointing toward two-word speech in young children. In S. Kita (Ed.), Pointing: Where language, culture, and cognition meet (pp. 85–107). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  18. Gómez, J. C. (2009). Embodying meaning: Insights from primates, autism, and Brentano. Neural Networks, 22, 190–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hobaiter, C., Leavens, D. A., & Byrne, R. W. (2014). Deictic gesturing in wild chimpanzees? Some possible cases. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 128, 82–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Horst, J. S., & Samuelson, L. K. (2008). Fast mapping but poor retention by 24-month-old infants. Infancy, 13(2), 128–157.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15250000701795598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ibbotson, P., & Tomasello, M. (2016). Language in a new key. Scientific American, 315(5), 70–75.  https://doi.org/10.1038/scientificamerican1116-70.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Jones, S. S., & Hong, H.-W. (2001). Onset of voluntary communication: Smiling looks to mother. Infancy, 2, 353–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kirch, M. S. (1979). Non-verbal communication across cultures. The Modern Language Journal, 63, 416–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ladefoged, P. (2006). A course in phonetics (5th ed.). Boston: Thomas Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  25. Leavens, D. A., & Bard, K. A. (2011). Environmental influences on joint attention in great apes: Implications for human cognition. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 10, 9–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Leavens, D. A., & Racine, T. P. (2009). Joint attention in apes and humans: Are humans unique? Journal of Consciousness Studies, 16, 240–267.Google Scholar
  27. Markman, E. (1990). Constraints children place on word meanings. Cognitive Science, 14, 57–77.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15516709cog1401_4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. May, L., Byers-Heinlein, K., Gervain, J., & Werker, J. F. (2011). Language and the newborn brain: Does prenatal language experience shape the neonate neural response to speech? Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 222.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00222.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. McMurray, B. (2007). Defusing the vocabulary explosion. Science, 317(5838), 631–631.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1144073.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. McNeill, D. (2003). Pointing and morality in Chicago. In S. Kita (Ed.), Pointing: Where language, culture and cognition meet (pp. 293–306). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  31. Mitchel, A. D., & Weiss, D. J. (2013). Visual speech segmentation: Using facial cues to locate word boundaries in continuous speech. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 29(7), 771–780.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01690965.2013.791703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nathani, S., Ertmer, D. J., & Stark, R. E. (2006). Assessing vocal development in infants and toddlers. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 20(5), 351–369.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02699200500211451.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. Nelson, K. (1973). Structure and strategy in learning to talk. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 38(1–2, Serial No. 149).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Oller, D. K. (1980). The emergence of the sounds of speech in infancy. In G. Yeni-Komshian, J. Kavanagh, & C. A. Ferguson (Eds.), Child phonology (pp. 93–112). New York: Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Oster, H. (2005). The repertoire of infant facial expressions: An ontogenetic perspective. In J. Nadel & D. Muir (Eds.), Emotional development (pp. 261–292). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Pechmann, T., & Deutsch, W. (1982). The development of verbal and nonverbal devices for reference. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 34, 330–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Povinelli, D. J., Bering, J. M., & Giambrone, S. (2003). Chimpanzee “pointing”: Another error of the argument by analogy? In S. Kita (Ed.), Pointing: Where language, culture, and cognition meet (pp. 35–68). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  38. Quine, W. V. O. (1960). Word and object. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  39. Saffran, J. R., Aslin, R. N., & Newport, E. L. (1996). Statistical learning by 8-month-old infants. Science, 274, 1926–1928.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Saint-Georges, C., Chetouani, M., Cassel, R., Apicella, F., Mahdhaoui, A., Muratori, F., et al. (2013). Motherese in interaction: At the cross-road of emotion and cognition? (A systematic review). PLoS One, 8(10), e78103.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0078103.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  41. Tomasello, M., Carpenter, M., & Liszkowski, U. (2007). A new look at infant pointing. Child Development, 78, 705–722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Vihman, M. M. (1996). Phonological development: The origins of language in the child. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  43. Wilkins, D. (2003). Why pointing with the index finger is not a universal (in sociocultural and semiotic terms). In S. Kita (Ed.), Pointing: Where language, culture, and cognition meet (pp. 171–215). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of SussexFalmerUK
  2. 2.School of Applied Social ScienceUniversity of BrightonFalmer, BrightonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Carey Fitzgerald
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South Carolina – BeaufortBlufftonUSA