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Basic aspects of vocal imitation in infant-parent interaction during the first 6 months

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The aim of the present longitudinal and naturalistic study was to explore and describe several basic aspects of early vocal imitative exchanges in infant-father and infant-mother free interactions. Fifteen infants, born in Crete, were observed with their mothers and fathers at home from the 2nd to the 6th month of their life. It was found that several basic aspects of vocal imitation, such as frequency, structure, the direction and the duration of components of imitative interactions (e.g. modelling, pause, imitation and total duration) did not differ significantly in interactions of infants with their fathers and mothers, although the linguistic nature of some sounds imitated differed in maternal and paternal interactions. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of mothers' and fathers' imitative ability and sensitivity to infant utterances and the intersubjective nature of vocal imitation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Crete, Greece

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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