Early Language Development

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Language Development May Begin In The Womb

There is some evidence that suggest that language development starts before birth

  • DeCasper and Spence (1986) found that babues sucked on their dummies more when their mothers read them the sane story that they'd also read aloud during the last six months of the pregnancy.
  • Mehler et al (1988) found that four day old French babies increased their sucking rate on a dummy, showing interest or recognition, when they heard French as opposed to Italian or English
  • Fitzpatrick (2002) Found out that the heart rate of an unborn baby slowed, when it heard it's mother's voice
  • The baby starts to communicate from birth
  • It listens to the sound of your voice and others it help it understand the way language is used
  • Helps the baby develop complex cognitive skills, such as reasoning and abstract thinking
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Babies start to use their vocals cords straight aw

  • The period between birth and the first word being spoken is known as the pre verbal or pre language
  • Crying is the first main vocal expression a baby makes. It makes the care giver aware that the baby needs something.
  • Crying can indicate ubducate hunger, discomfort or pain.
  • Suckling, crying, blowing bubbles, smiling and babbling all prepares the newborn physically for speech
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The Cooing Stage

  • Suckling, crying, blowing bubbles, smiling and babbling prepares the newborn physically for speech
  • The cooing stage starts when the baby is 6-8 weeks old
  • Babies start making a small range of sounds - they get used to moving their lips and tongue
  • This starts with vowels like /u/ and /a/
  • Then they start linkin these to producexyended vowel combinations like ooo and aah
  • They start to use velar consonants like /k/ and /g/ to form sounds like coo and ga
  • These sounds don't carry any meaning thr baby is just experimenting
  • Gradually these sounds become more defined and are strung together
  • This vocal play is the start of babbling
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  • Babies usually start to babble when they're about six months old
  • At this stage they start producing repeated consonants/vowel combinations
  • These sounds are common in babies from different nationalities this is called reduplicated or canonical babbling
  • Sometimes these sounds are not repeated. This is called variegated babbling
  • The consonants that you usually get in variegted or reduplicated babbling are: h,w,j,p,b,m,t,d,n,k,g
  • Research has shown that deaf babies who've had some exposure to sign language will babble with their hands producing consonants and vowel combinations in sign language. This suggests that babbling is an innate activity, which is preprogrammed to happen in the process of language development
  • Most people argue that babbling is a continuation of the baby's experimentation with sound creation rather than the production of sounds which carry meaning
  • Some people argue that babbling is the beginning of speech.
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