Changes in the Synchrony of Multimodal Communication in Early Language Development Purpose The aim of this study is to analyze the changes in temporal synchrony between gesture and speech of multimodal communicative behaviors in the transition from babbling to two-word productions. Method Ten Spanish-speaking children were observed at 9, 12, 15, and 18 months of age in a semistructured ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 19, 2018
Changes in the Synchrony of Multimodal Communication in Early Language Development
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Eva Murillo
    Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
  • Carlota Ortega
    Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
  • Alicia Otones
    Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
  • Irene Rujas
    Centro de Estudios Superiores Cardenal Cisneros, Madrid, Spain
  • Marta Casla
    Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Eva Murillo: eva.murillo@uam.es
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Margaret Kjelgaard
    Editor: Margaret Kjelgaard×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 19, 2018
Changes in the Synchrony of Multimodal Communication in Early Language Development
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2018, Vol. 61, 2235-2245. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0402
History: Received October 27, 2017 , Revised April 11, 2018 , Accepted April 27, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2018, Vol. 61, 2235-2245. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0402
History: Received October 27, 2017; Revised April 11, 2018; Accepted April 27, 2018

Purpose The aim of this study is to analyze the changes in temporal synchrony between gesture and speech of multimodal communicative behaviors in the transition from babbling to two-word productions.

Method Ten Spanish-speaking children were observed at 9, 12, 15, and 18 months of age in a semistructured play situation. We longitudinally analyzed the synchrony between gestures and vocal productions and between their prominent parts. We also explored the relationship between gestural–vocal synchrony and independent measures of language development.

Results Results showed that multimodal communicative behaviors tend to be shorter with age, with an increasing overlap of its constituting elements. The same pattern is found when considering the synchrony between the prominent parts. The proportion of overlap between gestural and vocal elements at 15 months of age as well as the proportion of the stroke overlapped with vocalization appear to be related to lexical development 3 months later.

Conclusions These results suggest that children produce gestures and vocalizations as coordinated elements of a single communication system before the transition to the two-word stage. This coordination is related to subsequent lexical development in this period.

Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.6912242

Acknowledgments
This research has been supported by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad with Grant PSI2013-44250-P to Marta Casla, Eva Murillo, and Irene Rujas. A preliminary version of this study was presented at the DComm Conference in June 2017. We would like to thank the staff and families from E. I. Caperucita, E. I. Los Tajetes, and E. I. Barbel Inhelder for their invaluable cooperation.
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