Volume 19, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN 1572-0373
  • E-ISSN: 1572-0381



We review major developmental evidence on the continuity from action to gesture to word and sign in human children, highlighting the important role of caregivers in the development of multimodal communication. In particular, the basic issues considered here and contributing to the current debate on the origins and development of the language-ready brain are: (1) links between early actions, gestures and words and similarities in representational strategies; (2) importance of multimodal communication and the interplay between gestures and spoken words; (3) interconnections between early actions, gestures and signs. The innovation of this report is in connecting these themes together to relevant findings from studies on children between 6 and 36 months of age and highlighting interesting parallels in studies on ape communicative behavior.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): actions; child development; communication; gestures; multimodality; signs; words
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