Preschool children's production of gestural directives

Louise Cherry Wilkinson, Karen L. Rembold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study includes an examination of the forms and functions of nonverbal gestures which accompany verbal directives, or requests for action. The data were video and audio tape recordings of "free play" between three, white, middle-class, English-speaking male children, aged two and two and a half years and their parents. Analysis included: the focus of the directive; the form of the gesture; the presence of eye contact; the function of the gesture. The results showed that gestures are used to supplement verbal communication, and that there is increasing complexity in gestural communication with increasing age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-143
Number of pages17
JournalLanguage Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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