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    Infant pointing: communication to cooperate or communication to learn?

    Southgate, V. and van Maanen, C. and Csibra, Gergely (2007) Infant pointing: communication to cooperate or communication to learn? Child Development 78 (3), pp. 735-740. ISSN 0009-3920.

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    Tomasello, Carpenter, and Liszkowski (2007) present compelling data to support the view that infant pointing, from the outset, is communicative and deployed in many of the same situations in which adults would ordinarily point for one another, either to share their interest in something, or to informatively help the other person. This commentary concurs with the view that infant pointing is a communicative gesture, but challenges their interpretation of the motives behind pointing in 12‐month‐olds. An alternative account is proposed, according to which infant pointing is neither declarative nor imperative, but interrogative, and rather than being driven by the motive to share or help, it may serve a powerful cultural learning mechanism by which infants can obtain information from knowledgeable adults.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2019 08:43
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:54


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