Imitation and the Construction of Long Utterances

  • Gisela E. Speidel
  • Madeleen J. Herreshoff
Part of the Springer Series in Language and Communication book series (SSLAN, volume 24)


There are, indeed, many faces to verbal imitation. In this book we get a glimpse of how many: Imitation can be used to show agreement, to encourage speaking, to taunt, to question, to show the speech partner one hasn’t understood, to promote emotional bonds between toddler and mother, to retain topic cohesiveness, and more. One cannot but wonder why so many different possible functions should be expressed through one type of behavioral act. Given this myriad of functions, we must be as clear and precise as possible about the functions) of imitation we are studying and the processes by which imitation is thought to bring about its effects. At the same time, we must be aware that the specific imitative acts we are studying for one function may have other, equally valid functions.


Speech Sound Skill Group Utterance Length Reading Lesson Preceding Utterance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gisela E. Speidel
  • Madeleen J. Herreshoff

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