chapter  2.4
6 Pages

The road to language

BySandra Smidt

This chapter looks at Trevarthen's ideas on how the human infant comes to understand and speak the language/s of her home and culture. Interpersonal coordination (or the ways in which people match their movements, gestures, action, words and more to one another) may be a fundamental component of human social interaction. It is how they are able to make sense in cooperative, or not, ways. Mother–infant communication is characterised by two forms of coordination; the first is called interactional synchrony and is focused on the shared pace and rhythm of communication, sometimes called 'mutual entrainment'. Some theorists speak of this being like a metaphorical dance between infant and caregiver. The second form of interpersonal coordination is known as behavioural matching/mimicry and focuses on the co-occurrence or imitation of gross and fine motor movements sometimes called the chameleon effect.