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Narrative Performance and Sociopragmatic Abilities in Preschool Children are Linked to Multimodal Imitation Skills


Castillo, Eva; Pronina, Mariia; Hübscher, Iris; Prieto, Pilar (2023). Narrative Performance and Sociopragmatic Abilities in Preschool Children are Linked to Multimodal Imitation Skills. Journal of Child Language, 50(1):52-77.

Abstract

Over recent decades much research has analyzed the relevance of 9- to 20- month-old infants’ early imitation skills (object- and language-based imitation) for language development. Yet there have been few systematic comparisons of the joint relevance of these imitative behaviors later on in development. This correlational study investigated whether multimodal imitation (gestural, prosodic, and lexical components) and object-based imitation are related to narratives and sociopragmatics in preschoolers. Thirty-one typically developing 3- to 4-year-old children performed four tasks to assess multimodal imitation, object-based imitation, narrative abilities, and sociopragmatic abilities. Results revealed that both narrative and sociopragmatic skills were significantly related to multimodal imitation, but not to object-based imitation, indicating that preschoolers’ ability to imitate socially relevant multimodal cues is strongly related to language and sociocommunicative skills. Therefore, this evidence supports a broader conceptualization of imitation behaviors in the field of language development that systematically integrates prosodic, gestural, and verbal linguistic patterns.

Abstract

Over recent decades much research has analyzed the relevance of 9- to 20- month-old infants’ early imitation skills (object- and language-based imitation) for language development. Yet there have been few systematic comparisons of the joint relevance of these imitative behaviors later on in development. This correlational study investigated whether multimodal imitation (gestural, prosodic, and lexical components) and object-based imitation are related to narratives and sociopragmatics in preschoolers. Thirty-one typically developing 3- to 4-year-old children performed four tasks to assess multimodal imitation, object-based imitation, narrative abilities, and sociopragmatic abilities. Results revealed that both narrative and sociopragmatic skills were significantly related to multimodal imitation, but not to object-based imitation, indicating that preschoolers’ ability to imitate socially relevant multimodal cues is strongly related to language and sociocommunicative skills. Therefore, this evidence supports a broader conceptualization of imitation behaviors in the field of language development that systematically integrates prosodic, gestural, and verbal linguistic patterns.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:08 Research Priority Programs > Language and Space
Dewey Decimal Classification:400 Language
410 Linguistics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Language and Linguistics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Developmental and Educational Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Social Sciences & Humanities > General Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Psychology, Linguistics and Language, Developmental and Educational Psychology, Experimental and Cognitive Psychology, Language and Linguistics
Language:English
Date:1 January 2023
Deposited On:17 Feb 2022 08:14
Last Modified:26 Feb 2024 02:49
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0305-0009
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/s0305000921000404
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)