SOCIAL INTERACTION SHAPES INFANTS’ EARLIEST LINKS BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND COGNITION

  • Danilov I
  • Mihailova S
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Abstract

The article observes studies of word categorization in 3- to 4-months-old infants questioning their main conclusion that young infants may categorize words themselves. The review shows that there is no bilateral communication between them and adults as well as any perceptual interaction that can help infants acquire language. And yet language acquisition requires children to begin categorizing objects even before they initiate to develop their communication – which happens only from the age of 12 months – since they need to already understand social reality with a minimum set of its phenomena before any communication. Hence, the idea of some mental collaboration between young infants and their caregivers that helps them to acquire a first language makes sense, and these studies show the manifestation of such non-perceptual social interaction. There is every reason to believe that the authors of the analyzed researches excluded any perceptual interaction from experiments that could help infants improve their performance, which also supports this above idea. Their weak results with Cantonese language gives another reason to think so, since English-speaking caregivers (and/or supervisors) could not mentally help infants categorize words during this experiment, as they did not understand Cantonese language.

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Danilov, I. Val., & Mihailova, S. (2020). SOCIAL INTERACTION SHAPES INFANTS’ EARLIEST LINKS BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND COGNITION. Sociālo Zinātņu Vēstnesis=Social Sciences Bulletin, 29(2), 145–157. https://doi.org/10.9770/szv.2019.2(7)

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