Theoria: An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science

Volume 20, Issue 3, Septiembre 2005

Stuart G. Shanker, Stanley I. Greenspan
Pages 329-343

The Role of Affect in Language Development

This paper presents the Functional/Emotional approach to language development, which explains the process leading up to the core capacities necessary for language (e.g., pattern-recognition, joint attention); shows how this process leads to the formation of internal symbols; and how it shapes and is shaped by the child’s development of language. The heart of this approach is that, through a series of affective transformations, a child develops these core capacities and the capacity to form meaningful symbols. Far from being a sudden jump, the transition from pre-symbolic communication to language is enabled by the advances taking place in the child’s affective gesturing.