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Communicative Initiations in Normal and Late-Talking Toddlers
Applied Psycholinguistics
  • Rhea Paul,
  • Mary E. Shiffer
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Publication Date
Initiation of communication in videotaped, unstructured mother–child interactions was examined in two groups of 2-year-olds: those with normal language development and those with late acquisition of expressive language. Results revealed that the late-talkers (LTs) expressed significantly fewer intentions, but that the difference between the two groups could be accounted for entirely by the difference in one type of intention: the expression of joint attentional intentions. Investigation of the forms of expression of intentions showed that the normal group used significantly more verbal forms of expression, as expected. The predominant form for the normal group was word combinations, while the predominant form for the LTs was vocalization. The implications of these results for understanding the mechanisms involved in early language delay are discussed.

Paul, R., Looney, S. S., & Dahm, P. S. (1991). Communication and socialization skills at ages 2 and 3 in “late-talking” young children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 34(4), 858-865.

Citation Information

Paul, R., & Shiffer, M. E. (1991). Communicative initiations in normal and late-talking toddlers. Applied Psycholinguistics, 12(4), 419-431.