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Academic Paper


Title: Infant gaze following and pointing predict accelerated vocabulary growth through two years of age: a longitudinal, growth curve modeling study
Author: Rechele Brooks
Institution: University of Washington
Author: Andrew N. Meltzoff
Institution: University of Washington
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Abstract: We found that infant gaze following and pointing predicts subsequent language development. At ages 0 ; 10 or 0 ; 11, infants saw an adult turn to look at an object in an experimental setting. Productive vocabulary was assessed longitudinally through two years of age. Growth curve modeling showed that infants who gaze followed and looked longer at the target object had significantly faster vocabulary growth than infants with shorter looks, even with maternal education controlled; adding infant pointing strengthened the model. We highlight the role of social cognition in word learning and emphasize the communicative-referential functions of early gaze following and pointing.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 35, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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