This entry discusses babbling and development of speech in infants as well as implications for special populations. Babbling is a term used for the vocalizations an infant produces during the first year of life. The term may also be applied more narrowly to refer to the more speechlike, consonant–vowel combinations, as in dada, an infant makes around 6 months of age. Because this type of babbling involves certain aspects of adult speech, it may also be referred to as “canonical babbling.”

As infants develop in motor and social abilities, their vocalizations change, and these changes tend to occur in a general pattern. The relationship of canonical babbling to a child’s later speech capacity is of great interest to researchers. Delays or abnormalities in an infant’s babbling ...

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