This paper examines the development of communication skills in young children. It focuses, in particular, on the emergence of skills that underlie the exchange of talk. Any child who learns to speak has interacted with other members of the society. Before he utters a single word of the adult language, he is able to respond to the social overtures of others (Bruner, 1975; Escalona, 1973; Richards, 1971). Escalona finds that even in the first month of life, a child responds to the presence of another by gazing, smiling and/or vocalizing. As a child matures, he is able to engage in reciprocal games, such as peek-boo (after five months), to comply with requests and/or answer questions (eleventh month) and independently initiate interactions by expressing a wish or demand, by showing or giving things to people. The emergence of speech in a child must be seen in the context of these social skills.