Centrum för kognitiv semiotik (CCS)

Humanistiska och teologiska fakulteterna | Lunds universitet


Educational Processes in Early Childhood: Communication and Cognitive Development

Ana Moreno Núñez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

The majority of the research into intentional pre-linguistic communication focuses on the importance that preverbal communication has in the construction of language. Although we recognize this importance, we believe that this conception is too restrictive. If we consider preverbal communication merely as a precursor to the great semiotic system that we call language, we will be unable to conceive of prelinguistic communication as being a semiotic system in its own right.

Ostensive signs likewise play an essential role as communicative mediators allowing the child to segment all that is out there into objects. Babies have an innate ability to attend to the specific ostensive signals in adults, and thanks to the ostensions, the child comes into relation with stable and independent objects, which also introduces him to places of possible actions, initially supported by the adult.

This diversity of gestures is made visible when the objects are taken seriously into account, through the different uses that children and adults have. We adopt a pragmatic perspective to the objects in early development. This perspective is derived the works of Vygotsky and the Geneva’s School (see Rodriguez, 2006, 2008). We take from the Geneva’s School its microgenetic view of the data, which allows us to see not just the object, but also its function and the niche in which the gesture is grounded; and from Vygotsky we take his semiotic point of view and the importance that he ascribes to the other in communicative interaction.