Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The ontogenesis of speech acts*

  • Jerome S. Bruner (a1)

A speech act approach to the transition from pre-linguistic to linguistic communication is adopted in order to consider language in relation to behaviour generally and to allow for an emphasis on the USE of language rather than on its form. The structure of language is seen as non-arbitrary in that it reflects both attention structures (via predication) and action structures (via the fundamental case grammatical form of language). Linguistic concepts are first realized in action. A pilot study focusing on the regulation of JOINT attention and JOINT activity within the context of mutuality between mother and infant is discussed, with emphasis on ritualization in mutual play as a vehicle for understanding the development of the formal structures of language.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

R. Brown (1973). A first language: the early stages. Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press.

R. Jakobson (1963). Implications of language universals for linguistics. In J. H. Greenberg (ed.), Universals of language. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T.

R. Jakobson (1968). Child language, aphasia and phonological universals. The Hague: Mouton.

P. F. Strawson (1959). Persons. Chapter 3 of Individuals. London: Methuen.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Child Language
  • ISSN: 0305-0009
  • EISSN: 1469-7602
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-child-language
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 205 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1598 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.