An experiment was designed to investigate whether infants would produce and comprehend the imperative function of the pointing gesture earlier than the declarative function of the same gesture, under controlled production/comprehension conditions. Fourteen subjects partecipated in the experiment at two age levels: 11 and 14 months. In the experimental sessions contextual variables were manipolated in order to induce production and comprehension of the imperative and declarative functions of pointing. A coding scheme was devised to categorize the imperative or declarative function of the pointing gestures, both produced and comprehended by the infants. Results are consistent with the hypothesis and are discussed in terms of the social-cognitive skills underlying communicative development (i.e. understanding attention and other's mental states).