Book

The Development of Prosody in First Language Acquisition

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Abstract

Prosodic development is increasingly recognized as a fundamental stepping stone in first language acquisition. Prosodic sensitivity starts developing very early, with newborns becoming attuned to the prosodic properties of the ambient language, and it continues to develop during childhood until early adolescence. In the last decades, a flourishing literature has reported on the varied set of prosodic skills that children acquire and how they interact with other linguistic and cognitive skills. This book compiles a set of seventeen short review chapters from distinguished experts that have contributed significantly to our knowledge about how prosody develops in first language acquisition. The ultimate aim of the book is to offer a complete state of the art on prosodic development that allows the reader to grasp the literature from an interdisciplinary and critical perspective. This volume will be of interest to scholars and students of psychology, linguistics, cognitive science, speech therapy, and education.
... The acquisition of cues for phonological contrasts begins early in the first few years of infancy, but an adult-like mastery of the contrasts is not reached until much later in development. The developmental trajectory of linguistic pitch cues, too, spans over the entire childhood and even into early adolescence (see Prieto and Esteve-Gibert, 2018;Chen et al., 2020 for a review). In the case of lexical tone acquisition, early sensitivity to tonal cues develops as early as 4 months (Yeung et al., 2013), and by 3 years, children produce tones with some F0 contrast (Hua and Dodd, 2000). ...
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Article
Vocal pitch, which involves not only F0 but also multiple covarying acoustic cues is central to linguistic perception and production at various levels of prosodic structure. Recent studies on language development have shown that differences in learners' musicality affect the F0 cue development in perception of sentence-level intonation or in prosodic realization of focus. This study aims to contribute toward a fuller understanding of the effect of musicality on linguistic pitch development via a close investigation of the relationship between musicality, age, and lexical tone production covering both F0 and spectral cues in children. Forty-three native Mandarin-speaking children between the ages of 4 and 6 years are recruited to participate in both a semi-spontaneous tone production task and a musicality test. For each age (4, 5, and 6 years) and musicality (below or above the median score of each age group) group, the contrastivity of the four tones is evaluated by performing automatic tone classification using three sets of acoustic cues (F0, spectral cues, and both). It has been found that higher musicality is associated with higher contrastivity of the tones produced at the age of 4 and 5 years, but not at the age of 6 years. These results suggest that musicality promotes earlier development of tone production only in earlier stages of prosodic development; by the age of 6 years, the musicality advantage in tone production subsides.
... www.nature.com/scientificreports/ is perceived by audiences 10 . Considering the fact that cross-linguistic evidence shows the early development of prosodic sensitivity to ambient language in newborns 11,12 , it is important to investigate if prosodic characteristics of the human voice are potent to obtain useful information for neurodevelopmental disorders like ASD. Acoustic characteristics expressing prosody are pitch (also known as fundamental frequency), duration and intensity 13 and pitch attributes such as pitch contour, pitch range and pitch variability. ...
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Article
In this systematic review, we analyzed and evaluated the findings of studies on prosodic features of vocal productions of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in order to recognize the statistically significant, most confirmed and reliable prosodic differences distinguishing people with ASD from typically developing individuals. Using suitable keywords, three major databases including Web of Science, PubMed and Scopus, were searched. The results for prosodic features such as mean pitch, pitch range and variability, speech rate, intensity and voice duration were extracted from eligible studies. The pooled standard mean difference between ASD and control groups was extracted or calculated. Using I 2 statistic and Cochrane Q-test, between-study heterogeneity was evaluated. Furthermore, publication bias was assessed using funnel plot and its significance was evaluated using Egger's and Begg's tests. Thirty-nine eligible studies were retrieved (including 910 and 850 participants for ASD and control groups, respectively). This systematic review and meta-analysis showed that ASD group members had a significantly larger mean pitch (SMD = − 0.4, 95% CI [− 0.70, − 0.10]), larger pitch range (SMD = − 0.78, 95% CI [− 1.34, − 0.21]), longer voice duration (SMD = − 0.43, 95% CI [− 0.72, − 0.15]), and larger pitch variability (SMD = − 0.46, 95% CI [− 0.84, − 0.08]), compared with typically developing control group. However, no significant differences in pitch standard deviation, voice intensity and speech rate were found between groups. Chronological age of participants and voice elicitation tasks were two sources of between-study heterogeneity. Furthermore, no publication bias was observed during analyses (p > 0.05). Mean pitch, pitch range, pitch variability and voice duration were recognized as the prosodic features reliably distinguishing people with ASD from TD individuals.
... These findings were further confirmed by the significant improvement detected in the language skills of the cases group (Table 3). These results confirm the role of prosody in language acquisition and word learning [35]. This is supported by the pragmatic and syntactic functions of prosody, as prosody is thought to have a prominent interaction with the pragmatic aspect of language particularly by its role in conveying phrasal stress. ...
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Article
Background Children with hearing impairment are deprived of their source of linguistic input which in turn leads to linguistic and prosodic deficits that negatively affect language and social development. Linguistic aspects other than prosody have received considerable attention in studies concerned with hearing-impaired children with little literature addressing how to improve their affective prosodic deficits. The aim of the current study is to adapt and apply the “prosody treatment program” and detect the effect of prosodic rehabilitation on affect production and language development in Egyptian hearing-impaired children. This study was conducted on 21 children with sensorineural hearing loss. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups, group A (cases) and group B (control) by block randomization. The subjects of the study were evaluated pre and post-therapy by a protocol for assessment of their prosodic skills using subjective and objective measures. Both groups received the usual auditory and language rehabilitation therapy. The case group additionally received rehabilitation for prosody using the “prosody treatment program” for 3 months. Results Results showed a statistically significant improvement in the subjective scores and most of the objective scores of the assessed affective prosodic skills when comparing pre-therapy and post-therapy scores in the cases group, and when comparing both studied groups post-therapy. Conclusions Prosodic training has an additional benefit evident in improving affective prosodic skills of hearing-impaired children compared to conventional therapy alone with a positive effect on their linguistic development. Trial registration The trial is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT04691830 . Registered under the name “Adaptation of a Rehabilitation Program for Prosody and its Application on Egyptian Hearing Impaired Children”. Retrospectively registered:
... Since the appearance of Rethinking Context (Goodwin & Duranti, 1992), the notion of context as a fixed or predetermined set of conditions and situations has gradually shifted 'towards increasingly more interactive and dialogically conceived notions of Tomasello, 2005). Prosodic analyses have shown that children track common ground and the unfolding of information: from the age of two they mark referring expressions with specific intonation contours depending on the referent's status as informative focus or contrastive focus (Esteve-Gibert & Prieto, 2018;Grünloh et al., 2015;Ito, 2014). These factors influencing linguistic resource selection coincide in spontaneous interaction as natural experiments that place the child in the face of various conditions in order to attain a successful reference. ...
Article
This study’s objective is to analyse repair sequences for referring problems that occur in conversation with young children (two to three years old), which have shown how reference recognition unfolds along a collaborative process. The results reveal that caretakers frame varying repair questions and that the children locally answer the caretakers’ questions, tending to display specific responses for specific repair frames: they either repeat their previous expression or utilize diverse, more informative expressions. Jointly considered, the contributions from children and caretakers display an informational equilibrium characteristic of parallel sequences in adult interactions. The repair sequences clearly attest to the children’s attention to the conversational exchange, the gradual reference optimization in their successive contributions and the delay in conversational progressivity with regard to the primary goal of achieving reference recognition.
... Reduced stress pattern discrimination in 5-month-old infants is a marker of risk for later language impairment (Weber et al., 2004). Furthermore, the ability to process phrasal prosody impacts learning of important aspects of language also later in development, including the organization of information in conversation, word segmentation, and syntactic parsing (Prieto & Esteve-Gibert, 2018;Speer & Ito, 2009). ...
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Article
Auditory speech discrimination is essential for normal language development. Children born preterm are at greater risk of language developmental delays. Using functional near‐infrared spectroscopy at term‐equivalent age, the present study investigated early discrimination of speech prosody in 62 neonates born between week 23 and 41 of gestational age (GA). We found a significant positive correlation between GA at birth and neural discrimination of forward versus backward speech at term‐equivalent age. Cluster analysis identified a critical threshold at around week 32 of GA, pointing out the existence of subgroups. Infants born before week 32 of GA exhibited a significantly different pattern of hemodynamic response to speech stimuli compared to infants born at or after week 32 of GA. Thus, children born before the GA of 32 weeks are especially vulnerable to early speech discrimination deficits. To support their early language development, we therefore suggest a close follow‐up and additional speech and language therapy especially in the group of children born before week 32 of GA.
... The motherese used with infants eases the acquisition process (Harris, 2013;Nelson et al., 1989). In turn, infants' babbling is also colored by their native language prosody, even before they utter their first sentences (de Boysson-Bardies et al., 1984;Prieto et Esteve-Gibert, 2018). The development of prosody continues until early adolescence (e.g., see Filipe et al. 2017, in Portuguese or Wells et al. 2004. ...
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Thesis
La lecture est un des savoirs fondamentaux acquis à l’école primaire. D’abord centré sur le décodage dans les premières années, l’enseignement se focalise ensuite essentiellement sur la compréhension et l’automatisation de la lecture. Cette automatisation, souvent désignée abusivement par le terme de fluence, est très fréquemment évaluée via une mesure du nombre de mots correctement lus par minute. Or, cette mesure se résume à évaluer le décodage et l’automatisation. Mais a lecture fluente du lecteur expert ne se résume pas seulement à une vitesse de lecture élevée, elle se caractérise également par une prosodie adaptée au texte, notamment en termes de phrasé et d’expressivité. En omettant l’aspect prosodique de la fluence, on tend à entretenir une confusion entre fluence et vitesse de lecture. Les dimensions prosodiques de la fluence ont longtemps été négligées dans l’étude du développement de la lecture. Seules quelques études récentes se sont intéressées à leur développement dans diverses langues, mais il n’en existe aucune en français. Ces études ont pu montrer, d’une part un développement long qui se poursuit au-delà de l’enseignement primaire et d’autre part un lien bidirectionnel entre prosodie en lecture et compréhension écrite. La dimension prosodique de la fluence mérite d’être plus largement étudiée, notamment chez l’apprenti lecteur, et c’est l’objectif de cette thèse.Dans ce travail de thèse, nous avons étudié les étapes de l’acquisition de la prosodie en lecture, ainsi que le lien entre prosodie en lecture et compréhension écrite, chez de jeunes lecteurs français du début de l’école primaire au début de l’enseignement secondaire. Nous abordons ces questions en utilisant trois types de mesures complémentaires de la prosodie : une mesure subjective à l’aide d’une échelle multidimensionnelle et deux mesures objectives que sont les marqueurs acoustiques de phrasé et d’expressivité et une méthode d’évaluation automatique basé sur l’analyse des signaux de parole. Les lectures de 323 enfants du CE1 à la 5ème et d’une vingtaine d’adultes ont été enregistrées, 60 enfants ont été également été suivis du CE1 au CM1. Dans un premier temps, nous avons abordé le développement des compétences prosodiques en lecture d’un point de vue subjectif, en adaptant une échelle anglophone d’évaluation de la prosodie au français. Ces données subjectives ont permis de retrouver le lien prosodie-compréhension en français déjà mis en évidence dans d’autres langues. Dans un deuxième temps, ces données ont été analysées acoustiquement, afin de déterminer les étapes d’acquisition de la planification des pauses et de la respiration, marquant le phrasé pendant la lecture. L’étude des corrélations entre scores subjectifs et marqueurs acoustiques a permis de mettre en évidence les marqueurs affectant le jugement de l’auditeur. Les données acoustiques ont ensuite été utilisées pour mieux comprendre le lien entre prosodie et compréhension. Finalement, nous utilisons un outil de prédiction automatique des scores à l’échelle subjective, utilisant paramètres acoustiques et références multiples. Cet outil est utilisé pour analyser les données longitudinales recueillies auprès de 67 enfants du CE1 au CM1. Ces données ont permis de proposer un modèle de croissance pour chaque dimension de la fluence et étudier les liens de causalité entre automaticité, prosodie et compréhension. Les connaissances acquises dans cette thèse sur le développement de la prosodie en lecture et son lien avec la compréhension écrite chez l’enfant français nous permettent de proposer de nouveaux outils d’évaluation de la fluence incluant la prosodie, et d’envisager le développement d’outils d’entrainement à la lecture prosodique. Ces outils offrent de nouvelles perspectives pour l’enseignement de la lecture ainsi que pour le diagnostic et la prise en charge des enfants en difficulté d’apprentissage de la lecture.
... Hand gesture and speech are said to synchronize their activity on the level of prosody (Wagner, Malisz, & Kopp, 2014). Prosody, broadly defined, entails modulations in acoustics or body motions which are employed as special linguistic devices that serve what is uttered by way of how it is uttered -constraining pragmatic, syntactic, semantic, and affective dimensions of communication (McNeill, 2005;Prieto & Esteve-Gibert, 2018;Shattuck-Hufnagel & Ren, 2018;Wagner et al., 2014). ...
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Preprint
A well-known phenomenon of multimodal language is the synchronous coupling of prosodic contours in speech with salient kinematic changes in co-speech hand-gesture motions. Invariably, such coupling has been rendered by psychologists to require a dedicated neural-cognitive mechanism preplanning speech and gesture trajectories. Recently, in a continuous vocalization task, it was found that acoustic peaks unintentionally appear in vocalizations when gesture motions reach peaks in physical impetus, suggesting a biomechanical basis for gesture-speech synchrony (Pouw, Harrison, & Dixon, 2019). However, from this rudimentary study it is still difficult to draw strong conclusions about gesture-speech dynamics in (more) complex speech and the precise biomechanical nature of these effects. Here we assess how the timing of physical impetus of a gesture relates to its effect on acoustic parameters of mono-syllabic consonant-vowel (CV) vocalization(/pa/). Furthermore, we assess how chest-wall kinematics is affected by gesturing, and whether this modulates the effect of gestures on acoustics. In the current exploratory analysis, we analyze a subset (N = 4) of an already collected dataset (N = 36), which serves as the basis for a pre-registration of the confirmatory analyses yet to be completed. Here we provide exploratory evidence that gestures affect acoustics (amplitude envelope and F0) as well as chest-wall kinematics during mono-syllabic vocalizations. These effects are more extreme when a gesture’s peak impetus occurs closer to the center of the vowel vocalization event. If the current findings can be replicated in confirmatory fashion, there is a more compelling case to be made that gesture-speech physics is important facet of multimodal synchrony.
... The motherese used with infants eases the acquisition process (Nelson et al., 1989;Harris, 2013). In turn, infants' babbling is also coloured by their native language prosody, even before they utter their first sentences (de Boysson- Bardies et al., 1984;Prieto and Esteve-Gibert, 2018). The development of prosody continues until early adolescence, e.g. ...
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Article
The present work reviews the current knowledge of the development of reading prosody, or reading aloud with expression, in young children. Prosody comprises the variables of timing, phrasing, emphasis and intonation that speakers use to convey meaning. We detail the subjective rating scales proposed as a means of assessing performance in young readers and the objective features of each as markers of progress. Finally, we review studies that have explored the intricate relations between automaticity, prosody and comprehension.
... Furrow, 1984;Hornby & Hass, 1970), according to the literature other pragmatic uses of intonation are in place only later in development, due to cognitive and social constraints. For example, expression of belief states or politeness involve more complex cognitive skills and thus have been found to develop only after age three (Esteve-Gibert & Prieto, 2018). However, thus far no research has explored whether and how children use prosody as they develop an ability to express politeness, and also whether prosody might work as a facilitating device in that process. ...
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Article
Gesture and prosody are considered to be important precursors in early language development. In the present study, we ask whether those cues play a similar role later in children's acquisition of more complex pragmatic skills, such as politeness. 64 three- to five-year-old Catalan-dominant children participated in a request production task in four different conditions. They were prompted to request an object from either a classmate or an unfamiliar adult experimenter, with the implied cost of the request to the receiver's face thus being either high or low. Results showed that these preschool-age children used mitigating prosodic and gestural strategies to encode politeness earlier and more often than they used lexical or morphosyntactic markers, and that those cues develop incrementally during the preschool years. These findings suggest that prosody, gesture, and other body signals are an essential first step in the development of children's socio-pragmatic competence.
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Thesis
This dissertation investigated the effects of the Optimized Prosodic Approach for improving Vietnamese EFL learners’ listening ability as well as their working memory capacity. This approach was developed on the basis of the underlying principles of a theory of language learning proposed by Lian and Sussex (2018), a theory of perception – verbotonalism, a theory of selective attention, and the latest empirical evidence in lateralization related to language learning. At the same time, this research also examined the relationship between listening ability, working memory, and vocabulary knowledge. Besides, students’ opinions about this approach were also explored. The study employed a mixed-methods approach within a quasi-experimental design. Two intact classes, 65 second-year non-English major students in a college in Ho Chi Minh City participated in the study. One class was randomly assigned as the experimental group and the other as the control group. For 10 weeks, while the control groups were taught listening in a traditional, teach-led, and classroom-based approach, the experimental group practiced listening with the OPA embedded in a self-regulated online listening platform. Results of T-tests analysis indicate that the experimental group significantly outperformed the control group in their listening performances. This finding underlines the value of prioritizing prosody by using the techniques developed in the study such as listening to low-pass filtered audio, repetition in synchrony with body movements, and shadowing to enhance listening comprehension. Regarding working memory, the experimental group achieved scores significantly higher than those of the control groups, suggesting that practicing with the OPA had a positive effect on how the students managed and processed auditory signals, reflecting the neuroplasticity of the working memory or the efficiency gains from working memory training. However, the improvement was observable only in the visual memory tasks and the auditory simple memory tasks, indicating that different modalities of presentation mode can have a different bearing on how learners manipulate stimuli. Furthermore, correlational analysis shows that listening ability was significantly correlated with vocabulary knowledge at a moderate level. A moderate connection between listening ability and working memory was also detected in the case of more skilled listeners (or the experimental group). Data analysis from the questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, students’ journals, and observation reveal that after 10 weeks’ intervention, the experimental group had positive opinions about this approach in terms of its effectiveness and its efficiency. Their general belief was that as a result of the practice with the OPA, they could improve their listening comprehension, their pronunciation, their vocabulary knowledge, and their working memory. They all agreed that this approach could develop their learning autonomy and offered a self-paced listening practice. Therefore, there was a consensus among students that the OPA had the potential to be widely implemented in listening teaching. Overall, the results of this thesis offer not only insights into the nature of the listening process from a perceptual perspective, but also an alternative approach, that is the OPA, for improving EFL learners’ listening ability. The findings also make significant theoretical contributions to the field of language learning and teaching, prompting the rethinking of the current approaches to the teaching of listening.
Article
Background: The role of prosody in language acquisition and effective communication is documented in research. Nevertheless, rehabilitation of prosodic skills in children with hearing impairment using hearing aids or cochlear implants is relatively neglected compared to other speech and language areas. Objective: To detect the effect of prosodic rehabilitation using the adapted translated version of the "Prosody Treatment Program" on expression of prosodic features in Egyptian Arabic-speaking hearing-impaired school-age children fitted with hearing aids or cochlear implant devices in comparison to conventional auditory and language rehabilitation. Methods: This study was conducted on 34 children with sensorineural hearing loss in a randomized controlled trial design. Children were randomly divided into 2 groups, group A (cases) and group B (control), by block randomization. Both groups were initially evaluated for their prosodic skills using objective measures. Group A received rehabilitation for prosody using the Prosody Treatment Program for 1 h, once per week for 3 months, while group B received conventional auditory and language training and served as their control. Both groups were re-evaluated using the same protocol after 3 months of therapy. Results: A statistically significant improvement of most of the assessed prosodic parameters in group A was shown when comparing the pretherapy and posttherapy scores, as well as comparing between both studied groups after therapy. Conclusions: Prosody is amenable to motor learning. The Prosody Treatment Program seems to be an effective rehabilitation tool in improving some prosodic skills of hearing-impaired children. Prosodic rehabilitation showed superiority to conventional auditory and language training in improving the expression of some prosodic features and pragmatic language skills.
Article
Diversos estudios señalan que la prosodia, o el subsistema de la fonología que abarca las características rítmicas y melódicas del lenguaje, es un aspecto clave para el procesamiento del lenguaje. De ahí que los últimos estudios se centren en los déficits en éste ámbito en los niños con trastorno del desarrollo del lenguaje (TDL). No obstante, los hallazgos de investigación reportados son contradictorios, y en el caso del español los estudios son muy escasos. El objetivo de este estudio de caso es analizar el perfil de habilidades prosódicas, receptivas y expresivas, a través de una batería completa de prosodia y de una tarea de conciencia del acento léxico de un alumno con TDL. Este alumno tiene 8 años de edad y pertenece a un nivel socio-económico medio. Su rendimiento se comparó con el de un participante control de la misma edad cronológica y nivel socioeconómico, pero sin dificultades. Además, se evaluaron las habilidades de inteligencia verbal y no verbal, diversas habilidades lingüísticas, así como las habilidades lectoras. Los resultados muestran que el participante con TDL presenta dificultades en algunas habilidades prosódicas (Final de turno receptivo, Foco expresivo y en las tareas de Forma a nivel de palabra y de sintagma). Se discuten las implicaciones de los resultados obtenidos de esta investigación cualitativa sobre la importancia de considerar las habilidades prosódicas en la evaluación del TDL. Futuros estudios con una muestra mayor son necesarios para corroborar estos hallazgos y seguir analizando el papel de la prosodia en el TDL en español.
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Article
Speech rhythm is considered one of the first windows into the native language, and the taxonomy of rhythm classes is commonly used to explain early language discrimination. Relying on formal rhythm classification is problematic for two reasons. First, it is not known to which extent infants' sensitivity to language variation is attributable to rhythm alone, and second, it is not known how infants discriminate languages not classified in any of the putative rhythm classes. Employing a central-fixation preference paradigm with natural stimuli, this study tested whether infants differentially attend to native versus nonnative varieties that differ only in temporal rhythm cues, and both of which are rhythmically unclassified. An analysis of total looking time did not detect any rhythm preferences at any age. First-look duration, arguably more closely reflecting infants' underlying perceptual sensitivities, indicated age-specific preferences for native versus non-native rhythm: 4-month-olds seemed to prefer the native-, and 6-month-olds the non-native language-variety. These findings suggest that infants indeed acquire native rhythm cues rather early, by the 4th month, supporting the theory that rhythm can bootstrap further language development. Our data on infants' processing of rhythmically unclassified languages suggest that formal rhythm classification does not determine infants' ability to discriminate language varieties.
Article
This work presents an analysis of the intonation competence in a group of Italian children with cochlear implant (CI). Early cochlear implantation plays a crucial role in language development for children who were born deaf in that it favours the acquisition of complex aspects of language, such as the intonation structure. A story-generation task, the Narrative Competence Task, was used to elicit children’s stories. Narrations produced by 8 early implanted children and by 16 children with typically hearing (TH) (8 one-to-one matched considering the chronological age, TH-CA, and 8 considering the hearing age, TH-HA) were analysed considering intonation features (pitch accent distribution, edge tones and inner breaks). Results show that children with CI produce intonation patterns that are similar to those of both TH-CA and TH-HA control groups. Few significant differences were found only between children with CI and children matched for TH-HA in the use of rising edge tones. These results are discussed in light of the role of cognitive development in using prosody and intonation and the importance of early CI implantation. This study shows for the first time that intonation use of early implanted children is not different from that of typically developing children with the same chronological age.
Article
This study investigates the effectiveness of training preschoolers in order to enhance their social cognition and pragmatic skills. Eighty-three 3–4-year-olds were divided into three groups and listened to stories enriched with mental state terms. Then, whereas the control group engaged in non-reflective activities, the two experimental groups were guided by a trainer to reflect on mental states depicted in the stories. In one of these groups, the children were prompted to not only talk about these states but also “embody” them through prosodic and gestural cues. Results showed that while there were no significant effects on Theory of Mind, emotion understanding, and mental state verb comprehension, the experimental groups significantly improved their pragmatic skill scores pretest-to-posttest. These results suggest that interactional interventions can contribute to preschoolers’ pragmatic development, demonstrate the value of the new embodied training, and highlight the importance of multidimensional testing for the evaluation of intervention effects.
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Article
Els estudis sobre desenvolupament del llenguatge típicament s'han centrat en l'anàlisi de la parla. Tanmateix, hi ha altres elements comunicatius que són una peça fonamental en la comunicació i cognició humanes: els gestos. Aquests elements visuals estan íntimament integrats amb la parla des del punt de vista temporal i des del punt de vista semanticopragmàtic, i fan que es pugui parlar del llenguatge i la comunicació com uns fets multimodal. En aquest article posem a l'abast dels lectors un resum dels estudis més recents sobre adquisició del llenguatge des d'una perspectiva multimodal, tot i emfasitzant el rol dels gestos com a facilitadors i precursors del llenguatge no només en les etapes més primerenques sinó també en etapes de desenvolupament pragmàtic més tardà. Els estudis demostren que el gest és un component central de l'adquisició del llenguatge i que actua com a precursor i predictor de l’aprenentatge del vocabulari, de la sintaxi, així com del desenvolupament pragmàtic i discursiu. Finalment apuntem les àrees de recerca més actuals i innovadores i el possible impacte d'aquesta recerca en l'àmbit de la rehabilitació del llenguatge.
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