Toddler and Parent Interaction
This book provides a microanalysis of the interactions between four children and their parents starting when the children were aged 9 to 13 months and ending when they were 18 months old. It tracks development as an issue for and of interaction. In so doing, it uncovers the details of the organisation of the sequence structure of the interactions, and exposes the workings of language and social development as they unfold in everyday activities. The study begins with a description of pre-verbal children’s sequences of action and then tracks those sequences as linguistic ability increases. The analysis reveals a developing richness and complexity of the sequence structure and exposes a gap in Child Language studies that focus on the children’s and their carers' actions in isolation from their sequential environment. By focusing on the initiating actions of both child and parent, and the response to those actions, and by capturing the details of how both verbal and nonverbal actions are organised in the larger sequences of talk, a more complete picture emerges of how adept the young child is at co-creating meaning in highly organised ways well before words start to surface. The study also uncovers pursuit of a response, and orientation to insufficiency and adequacy of response, as defining characteristics of these early interactions.