lIIocutionary Force of Infant's Representational Gestures: A Review of the Research
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Teaching infants to use representational gestures has become popular because their use has been linked with vocabulary acquisition. It is also known that infants use gestures for different purposes, or communicative intents. However, it is not known how infants' communicative intents relate to the types of representational gestures they use. Therefore this capstone includes a review of previous research and a study design for examining the relationship between communicative intent and representational gesture use. The proposed study utilizes fourteen infant-mother dyads who were taught five representational gestures and asked to record the use of the signs at home. They were asked to note how often the signs were used and for what purpose: commenting, requesting, or other. The study design is proposed to provide information that might inform intervention programs that teach representational gestures to infants.