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Recognizing Communicative Intentions in Infancy

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Abstract:

I make three related proposals concerning the development of receptive communication in human infants. First, I propose that the presence of communicative intentions can be recognized in others' behaviour before the content of these intentions is accessed or inferred. Second, I claim that such recognition can be achieved by decoding specialized ostensive signals. Third, I argue on empirical bases that, by decoding ostensive signals, human infants are capable of recognizing communicative intentions addressed to them. Thus, learning about actual modes of communication benefits from, and is guided by, infants' preparedness to detect infant-directed ostensive communication.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0017.2009.01384.x

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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