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Academic Paper


Title: Mean Length of Utterance before words and grammar: Longitudinal trends and developmental implications of infant vocalizations
Author: Mary K. K. Fagan
Institution: University of Missouri at Columbia
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Abstract: This study measured longitudinal change in six parameters of infant utterances (i.e. number of sounds, CV syllables, supraglottal consonants, and repetitions per utterance, temporal duration, and seconds per sound), investigated previously unexplored characteristics of repetition (i.e. number of vowel and CV syllable repetitions per utterance) and analyzed change in vocalizations in relation to age and developmental milestones using multilevel models. Infants (N=18) were videotaped bimonthly during naturalistic and semi-structured activities between 0 ; 3 and the onset of word use (M=11·8 months). Results showed that infant utterances changed in predictable ways both in relation to age and in relation to language milestones (i.e. reduplicated babble onset, word comprehension and word production). Looking at change in relation to the milestones of language development led to new views of babbling, the transition from babbling to first words, and processes that may underlie these transitions.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 36, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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