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Infant language development takes place in a social environment providing the necessary linguistic input based on which the child is able to abstract implicit linguistic knowledge. That is, it deduces the necessary information from what it hears and sees in order to acquire the specific rules of the environment language.In research on language acquisition, there often is a strong focus on input as well as receptive and productive skills in the spoken language. However, the further comprehension of gestural elements in infant communication research represents a necessary tool for a broader analysis of language development, as gestures constitute one of the most important predictors for spoken language development. Starting from the age of about 10 months, children use gestures in order to first express themselves intentionally. Thus, children already communicate actively with their caregivers before they are actually able to produce oral language. Furthermore, gestures also have proven to be effectively beneficial to speech and language development and therefore are used in support and therapy programmes for children with speech and language delays and disorders.



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