Mealtime conversations between parents and their 2-year-old children in five cultural contexts

Research output: other publicationsOtherResearch


  • Manuel Bohn
  • Wilson Filipe da Silva Vieira
  • Marta Giner Torréns
  • Joscha Kärtner
  • Shoji Itakura
  • Lilia Cavalcante
  • Daniel B. M. Haun
  • Moritz Köster
  • Patricia Kanngiesser
Children all over the world learn language, yet, the contexts in which they do so varies substantially. This variation needs to be systematically quantified to build robust and generalizable theories of language acquisition. We compared communicative interactions between parents and their two-year-old children (N = 99 families) during mealtime across five cultural settings (Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, Germany, Japan) and coded the amount of talk and gestures as well as their conversational embedding (interlocutors, function, themes). We found a comparable pattern of communicative interactions across cultural settings, which were modified in ways that are consistent with local norms and values. These results suggest that children encounter similarly structured communicative environments across diverse cultural contexts and will inform theories of language learning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 06.12.2022

    Research areas

  • Psychology - Communication, Cross-cultural psychology, Gesture, Language acquisition, Parent-child interaction