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Games, social exchange and the acquisition of language

  • Nancy Ratner (a1) and Jerome Bruner (a1)

The nature of early games and how they might assist the infant in language acquisition were explored in a longitudinal study of two mother–infant dyads, using video-recordings of their free play. Analysis of appearance and disappearance games, in particular, revealed: (1) a restricted format, with a limited number of semantic elements, and a highly constrained set of semantic relations; (2) a clear repetitive structure, which allowed both for anticipation of the order of events and variation of the individual elements; (3) positions for appropriate vocalizations which could in turn be used to mark variations; and (4) the development of reversible role relationships between mother and child.

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Journal of Child Language
  • ISSN: 0305-0009
  • EISSN: 1469-7602
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-child-language
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