Gesture-Speech Combinations as a Transition to Multiword Utterances This study was designed to determine if certain types of gesture-speech combinations act as transitional phenomena preceding production of 2-word utterances. Ten normally developing children with a mean age of 15 months at the beginning of the study participated in this research. The children were sampled longitudinally at monthly intervals ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2004
Gesture-Speech Combinations as a Transition to Multiword Utterances
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Diane McEachern, MS
    Alvin Buckwold Child Development Program, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • William O. Haynes
    Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • Contact author: Diane McEachern, MS, 503 Emerald Place, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan STJ 4E4, Canada. E-mail: d.mceachern@sasktel.net
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Early Identification & Intervention / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2004
Gesture-Speech Combinations as a Transition to Multiword Utterances
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2004, Vol. 13, 227-235. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2004/024)
History: Received April 14, 2003 , Revised January 9, 2004 , Accepted April 13, 2004
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2004, Vol. 13, 227-235. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2004/024)
History: Received April 14, 2003; Revised January 9, 2004; Accepted April 13, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 14

This study was designed to determine if certain types of gesture-speech combinations act as transitional phenomena preceding production of 2-word utterances. Ten normally developing children with a mean age of 15 months at the beginning of the study participated in this research. The children were sampled longitudinally at monthly intervals as they approached the onset of early multiword utterances. Temporally synchronized gesture-speech combinations were analyzed over a 6-month period to describe whether they encoded 1 semantic element (pointing to a car and saying "car") or 2 semantic elements (pointing to a car and saying "big"). These gesture-speech combinations were examined in terms of their onset in relation to early multiword combinations. It was found that there was a significant increase in gesture-speech combinations encoding 2 semantic elements during the 6-month period and that the onset of these combinations preceded or co-occurred with the 1st productions of multiword utterances. This finding, coupled with prior studies on smaller numbers of participants, suggests that gesture-speech combinations encoding 2 elements may be a transitional element between single-word communication and the onset of multiword combinations.

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