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Prelinguistic Vocalization (Overview)

Although children do not produce linguistically meaningful sounds or signs until they are approximately 1 year old, the ability to produce them begins to develop in early infancy, and important developments in the production of language occur throughout the first year of life. Unless they have a hearing loss, infants acquire phonology during their first year. In spoken language, the acquisition of phonology consists of not only learning to distinguish the sound patterns of the adult language but also learning to produce these patterns, which are referred to as prelinguistic vocalizations. Such sounds gradually emerge during the first year of life, beginning with vowel-like coos at 6 to 8 weeks of age, followed by some consonant sounds, then followed by true babbling. By the end ...

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