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The Reorganization of Communicative Behaviors around the Onset of the Vocabulary Spurt: A Dynamic Systems Approach

Parlade, Meaghan Venezia (2008) The Reorganization of Communicative Behaviors around the Onset of the Vocabulary Spurt: A Dynamic Systems Approach. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study investigated the reorganization of communicative behaviors during the window of time surrounding the vocabulary spurt by considering the relationship between language, gesture, and affect as the communicative system undergoes a period of instability. Eighteen typically developing infants were videotaped with a primary caregiver at home one month before, at, and one month after the onset of the vocabulary spurt. There were significant differences between the vocabulary spurt session and surrounding sessions in terms of the production and temporal patterning of expressive behaviors. Specifically, the coordination of communicative behaviors occurred less frequently; speech was particularly unlikely to appear in coordination with other behaviors; and the use of earlier well-practiced configurations (e.g., affect combined with meaningless vocalizations) increased specifically at the spurt session. In addition, infants who experienced a more dramatic transition in vocabulary development showed evidence of greater system-wide instability at the vocabulary spurt onset. Findings underscore the importance of examining the communicative system as a whole and using a milestone-based dynamic systems approach to studying developmental change.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Parlade, Meaghan Veneziamvp15@pitt.eduMVP15
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairIverson, Jana Mjiverson@pitt.eduJIVERSON
Committee MemberBrownell, Celiabrownell@pitt.eduBROWNELL
Committee MemberCampbell, Susan Bsbcamp@pitt.eduSBCAMP
Date: 17 January 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 21 May 2007
Approval Date: 17 January 2008
Submission Date: 6 August 2007
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: communicative coordination; dynamic systems theory; vocabulary spurt
Other ID:, etd-08062007-173251
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:57
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:48


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