Young children’s graphical sign lexicons and the emergence of mathematical symbols



Young children’s personal repertoires or lexicons of graphical signs comprise multiple and diverse signs. These signs support understanding and progress of the symbolic languages of the culturally established, alphanumerical systems, development evolving early in childhood. Investigating language and inscriptional systems - including drawn, written and mathematical - this evidence-based position paper explores the extent to which children’s graphical sign lexicons support their emergent understandings as they move from intuitive marks and informal signs to formal symbols. These inscriptions are indispensable in communicating ideas, and have significance for the study of young children’s understanding of the abstract symbolic language of mathematics.


Early childhood, graphical sign lexicons, repertoires, children’s mathematical graphics, emergent learners

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