Infants’ speech and gesture production in Mozambique and the Netherlands

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the cultural differences in the production of speech and speech+gesture combinations by infants at the age of 17-18 months in Mozambique and the Netherlands. We found that Dutch infants produce more speech and gestures compared to Mozambican infants. Infants in both communities make most use of content words. The results further show that Dutch infants make more use of proximal pointing than Mozambicans, whereas Mozambicans make more use of the offering gesture. Finally, the amount of semantically coherent speech+gesture combinations of the Mozambican infants is higher than of the Dutch infants.


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