From gesture to language in hearing and deaf children

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Virginia Volterra, Carol Erting
Springer-Verlag, 1990 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 335 pages
This edited collection aims to bring together recent research on the use of communicative gesturing in the first two years of life as an important step in the child's transition to a linguistic system. This topic has been approached from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives. Researchers studying hearing children have regarded some communicative gestures as precursors to the acquisiton of spoken language. They have also drawn attention to other gestures that show striking similarities in content and sequence of development to first words. Studies of deaf children exposed to sign language have seen early gestures as the first evidence of the child's acquisition of the linguistic system, while researchers who have studied deaf children without exposure to sign language have considered their gesturing as the creation of a linguistic system. This collection of readings provides an opportunity to compare research on children in the earliest stages of communicative development who not only have different primary modalities for language but who also are exposed to differing linguistic inputs. The volume aims to illustrate the contribution of a variety of research questions, strategies and results toward the development of a unifying theoretical model of the transition from gesture to language.

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Gestural Development DualDirectional
Gestures Words and Early Object Sharing

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About the author (1990)

Virginia Volterra is Research Director of the Neuropsychophysiology Unit at the Institute of Psychology, National Research Council of Italy in Rome, Italy.

Carol J. Erting is Professor in the Department of Education at Gallaudet University.

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