A new look at infant pointing.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The current article proposes a new theory of infant pointing involving multiple layers of intentionality and shared intentionality. In the context of this theory, evidence is presented for a rich interpretation of prelinguistic communication, that is, one that posits that when 12-month-old infants point for an adult they are in some sense trying to influence her mental states. Moreover, evidence is also presented for a deeply social view in which infant pointing is best understood--on many levels and in many ways--as depending on uniquely human skills and motivations for cooperation and shared intentionality (e.g., joint intentions and attention with others). Children's early linguistic skills are built on this already existing platform of prelinguistic communication.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tomasello, M; Carpenter, M; Liszkowski, U

Published Date

  • May 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 78 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 705 - 722

PubMed ID

  • 17516997

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-8624

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-3920

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01025.x


  • eng