Coordination of speaking and acting in the second year of life


Journal Article

We offer a conceptual reformulation of the relations between two major psychological functions, speaking and acting. The role of speech in regulating action is traditionally presented in cultural-historical psychology as a gradual takeover and control of the flow of actions by emerging speech functions. We expand this notion to include a variety of coordinated forms between speaking and acting in which the speech-controlling-action model is but one of the possibilities. Human development can be characterized as a constant overproduction of action and speech efforts, which are context-bound, and from which the constructive selection of surviving speech and action forms emerge. Ontogeny thus entails the selective attrition of speech and action forms that emerge through episodes of individual and individual-social other activity. Empirical evidence from a short-term longitudinal study of toddlers' speaking and acting in everyday-life problem-solving situations is provided to indicate how different forms of speech-action relations coexist and may transform into one another. Copyright © 1999, Regents of the University of California on behalf of the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gupta, S; Valsiner, J

Published Date

  • January 1, 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 143 - 159

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-7884

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1074-9039

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/10749039909524721

Citation Source

  • Scopus