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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 2005

Published quarterly

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It Takes More Than Mean-End Differentiation to Intentionally Communicate in Infancy. A Semiotic Perspective on Early Communication Development 1030


Dimitrova N.
Post.doc at Georgia State University, USA

Intentional communication, including early gestures produced by infants, implies sharing meanings about the communicative referent. Despite this general assumption, intentional communication in infancy is major- ly apprehended as an instrumental activity consisting of using others in order to obtain a goal (i. e. social tool- use, Bates, 1976). Relying on an inferential model of communication, we support that communicative under- standing in infancy is possible through meanings concerning the communicative referent that are being shared between the infant and her communicative partner. Situated in Vygotsky's framework of mediated psycholog- ical functioning, the approach of Object Pragmatics (Moro & Rodriguez, 2005) permits us to consider a type of meaning that is being shared in infancy. Short examples of gesture production by infants help us highlight that sharing meanings of how objects should be used allow successful communication.

Keywords: intentional communication, infancy, shared meaning, object use, mean-end differentiation.

Column: Issues In Cultural Activity Theory

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