How Gestures Pave the Way for Lexical Development

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Amir Yousef Farahmandi


In development, children often use gestures to communicate before they use words. The question is whether these gestures merely precede language development or are fundamentally tied to it. I examined four children making the transition from single words to two-word combinations and found that gesture had a tight relation to the children’s lexical and syntactic development. First, a great many of the lexical items that each child produced initially in gesture later moved to that child’s verbal lexicon. Second, children who were first to produce gesture-plus-word combinations conveying two elements in a proposition were also first to produce two-word combinations. Changes in gesture also predict changes in language, suggesting that early gesture may facilitate future developments in language.

Gesture, words, language development, lexical development, syntactic development

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How to Cite
Farahmandi, A. (2019). How Gestures Pave the Way for Lexical Development. Asian Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 2(2), 1-9. Retrieved from
Original Research Article