Temporal synchrony in early multi-modal communication
Children’s early gesture and speech combinations are typically asynchronous. As children develop the ability to employ speech and gesture together more regularly, the two modalities become synchronized and the word indicates one element, while the target of the gesture indicates another element. This chapter presents a longitudinal qualitative analysis of the path by which children develop the skill of temporal coordination in their gesture and spoken word communications. It investigates how this temporally coordinated information is taken up by the caregiver and examines synchrony of gesture and speech indexing the same element, in order to determine how this fits within the child’s transition to reaching the stage of multi-element communications.