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When infants begin babbling, the first sounds after vowels are usually
the stops. First of those are the labials. Because they are very
productive in world languages, [b], [p], and [d] are usually the first. In
Greek, [b] and [d] are infrequent phones. In fact, there are no letters
for these phones; instead, combinations are made: μπ for [b] and ντ
for [d]. Does this mean, then, that Greek babies, when they begin
babbling, do not begin with the sounds [b] and [d]? And if they do, is
that just further proof that much of language acquisition is innate and
there is some sort of Universal Grammar?
In Modern Greek, as you say, the voiced stops [b d] are infrequent. But so far as I know (I am no expert on child language) the claim is that labial stops tend to be some of the first consonants produced by children – not voiced labial stops in particular. Modern Greek surely does have plenty of labial stops, [p], and also [m] if nasal consonants are counted as "stops" (and in connexion with child speech they surely ought to be, they are also produced early).
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