Early language development
evidence suggesting lang development starts before birth:
- DeCasper & Spencce 1986: babies sucked on their dummies more when mother read them a the same story they'd also read during their last 6months of pregnancy.
- Mehler et al 1988: 4 day old babies increased sucking rate on dummy (showing recognition) when hearing French, as opposed to Italian or English
- Fitzpatrick 2002: heart rate of unborn baby slowed down when hearing mother's voice
....suggests in womb babies become familiar with sounds, rhythms & intonations
Period between bith & first word spoken: pre-verbal or pre-language stage.
Crying: 1st main vocal expression, indicates hunger, discomfort or pain to caregiver.
Not a conscious act but an instinctive reponse to how it feels.
Early language development #2
Cooing stage: (6-8 weeks old) babies start to make small range of sounds, getting used to lips and tongue. Words don't carry meaning, just experimenting.
Babbling stage: (6 months old)
- babies start to repeat consonant/vowel combinations e.g. mamama.
- sometimes sounds not repeated "googigooga" aka variegated babbling
- babbling is innate: research shows that deaf babies babble with their hands
- most argue babbling is a continuation of 'cooing', experimentation rather than meaning.
- argument it's beginning of speech: Petitto & Holowka 2002: infants babbled more from right side of mouth, which is controlled by left side of brain (side of brain responsible for speech production)