The spontaneous vocal, verbal, and action imitation of 20 infants and their mothers was examined during play and bath interactions in their homes when the infants were 10, 13, 17, and 21 months of age. Imitative episodes during these natural interactions occurred frequently. Verbal matching in particular rose dramatically across the second year, a time of rapid language development. The interactive context also influenced the likelihood and pattern of mothers' and infants' imitation. Analyses of dyadic correspondence, stability over time, and consistency across contexts in verbal imitation provided evidence for the emergence of an imitative conversational style in some mothers and infants. The possible role of mothers' and infants' verbal imitation in infants' language acquisition is discussed.
Masur, Elise Frank and Rodemaker, Jennifer E.
"Mothers' and Infants' Spontaneous Vocal, Verbal,
and Action Imitation During the Second Year,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 45
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol45/iss3/4