The Role of Social Interaction in Early Language Development
This chapter is concerned with infants under the age of 2 years. All of them are able to get some things done in communion with their caretakers, and most of the older ones are able to use "words" as part of that doing. Yet it is unlikely that any of them have a mental representational system that could be called a "language system." These children are viewed here as being engaged in activities that create, or provide them with, abilities that eventually may be theorized into academic discourse as enabling "language," but not as having "language." Crudely, the children discussed here are engaged with their parents in doing things. Out of these doings they eventually do become able to act in ways that make a sensible discourse possible in terms of cognitive modules grappling with the features of some mental object called "Language," setting the parameters of emerging grammatical systems, and so on.