Features of sound articulation in young children

Babbling is a stage in child development and a state in language acquisition during which an infant appears to be experimenting with uttering features of sound articulation in young children sounds, but does not yet produce any recognizable words. Babbling is a stage in language acquisition.

Babbles are separated from language because they do not convey meaning or refer to anything specific like words do. Human infants are not necessarily excited or upset when babbling, they may also babble spontaneously and incessantly when they are emotionally calm. The sounds of babbling are produced before an infant begins to construct recognizable words. This can be partly attributed to the immaturity of the vocal tract and neuromusculature at this age in life. Babbling is assumed to occur in all children acquiring language.

The complexity of the sounds that infants produce makes them difficult to categorize, but the above rules tend to hold true regardless of the language to which children are exposed. If babbling occurs during the first year of life, it can typically be concluded that the child is developing speech normally. Infants follow a general timeline of vocal developments in childhood. This timeline provides a general outline of expected developments from birth to age one.

The babbling period ends at around 12 months because it is the age when first words usually occur. From birth to 1 month babies produce mainly pleasure sounds, cries for assistance, and responses to the human voice. They continue to make predominantly vowel sounds. Around 4 Months babies may vary their pitch, and imitate tones in adult speech. Around 5 Months babies continue to experiment with sound, imitating some sounds made by adults. Around 6 Months babies vary volume, pitch and rate. When infants are 6 months old they are finally able to control the opening and closing of the vocal tract, and upon obtaining this ability, infants begin to distinguish between the different sounds of vowels and consonants.

This age is often distinguished as the beginning of the canonical stage. Around 7 Months babies can produce several sounds in one breath, they also recognize different tones and inflections in other speakers. Around 8 Months babies can repeat emphasized syllables. They imitate gestures and tonal quality of adult speech. Variegated babbles contain mixes of consonant vowel combinations such as “ka da by ba mi doy doy”. Around 9-10 Months babies can imitate non speech sounds, and speech-like sounds if they are in the child’s repertoire of sounds. Infant babbling begins to resemble the native language of a child.