The relation of play and sensorimotor behavior to language in the second year.

J. A. Ungerer*, M. Sigman

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    91 Citations (Scopus)


    The concurrent and predictive relations of sensorimotor behavior and play to language in the second year were assessed. 19 preterm and 20 full-term infants were tested at 13 1/2 and 22 months of age. Functional play directed toward dolls and other persons and meaningfully related sequences of functional and symbolic acts at 13 1/2 months were associated with language measured at 13 1/2 months and 9 months later. Concurrent positive relations between sensorimotor behavior and language were found only at 22 months for object-permanence skills. There were no significant positive relations between sensorimotor behaviors at 13 1/2 months and language at 22 months. The consistent relations found between play and language in this research derived from the infants' ability to translate experience into symbols that are used as a means of interacting and communicating with others. Sensorimotor behavior and language were much more loosely associated in the same age period.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1448-1455
    Number of pages8
    JournalChild Development
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 1984


    Dive into the research topics of 'The relation of play and sensorimotor behavior to language in the second year.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this