Professor Colwyn Trevarthen
The Infant Person: An Actor In Relations

A newborn infant displays Self-Other-awareness, searching in its own imaginative space-time for useful sights and sounds, ready to engage impulses and emotions in intimacy with other persons. Soon rhythmic proto-conversations and games invent propositional narratives of aliveness with joyful ‘communicative musicality’. By monitoring this inborn personality, and its distress when betrayed, we learn how a self-confident human mind develops an Other-aware “Me”, learning aesthetic and moral rules and practical skills in a fictional culture of meanings -- the customs, rituals, arts, techniques and formulated beliefs of ancestors, and mentors. The spiritual or affective inspiration of human reason and language is in an innocent interpersonal Self who lives before, and beyond, acquired identity in a particular community and its world.