Prelinguistic Language

Topics: Infant, Phonology, Language Pages: 4 (1077 words) Published: November 2, 2005
Running Head: Prelinguistic

Prelinguistic Language: The First Year of Communication

Communication before one is able to speak is referred to as prelinguistic communication. In typically developing infants, this stage is from birth to twelve months. Prelinguistic communication has three major milestones; the first being recognization of sounds and deciphering phonology. Infants then begin to "coo" and babble, using vowel sounds, and occasionally consonant sounds. Gestures also play a role in prelinguistic development because they show that an infant has a sense of symbolization. Research has found that ones' prelinguistic communication has a positive correlation with ones' future language development; this is why these three milestones are important.

Prelinguistic Language: The First Year of Communication
Just because an infant is not speaking does not mean that he or she cannot communicate with other individuals. Prelinguistic language is referred to as the period from birth to 12 months, before an infant can speak. An infants' success or deficit in Prelinguistic communication has shown a positive correlation with ones' language development in the future. This is a result of three main milestones that take place during the first year of an infants' life that are important: producing and receiving phonological messages, cooing and babbling, and gesturing.

The most important aspect of an infants' first year of language is phonological development, both in producing and receiving messages from others. Butako and Daehler state "right from birth, the human infant has a special sensitivity to the sounds other human beings make"(2001, page 229). These sounds, phonemes, are the smallest units of sound that occur in language (Bear, Invernizzi, Johnston & Templeton 2004, page 424). Researchers convey that infants as young as one month old can differentiate between different phonemes, and at the age of two months, are able to distinguish...

References: Bear, Donald R., Invernizzi, Marcia, Johnston, Francine & Templeton, Shane (2004). Words Their Way. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.
Butako, Danuata, & Daehler, Marvin W. (2001). Language. In Child Development: A Thematic Approach. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Ejiri, Keiko, & Masataka,Nobuo (2001). Co-occurrence of preverbal vocal behavior and motor action in early infancy. Developmental Science, 4 (1), 40-48.
Goldfield, Eugene C. (2000). Exploration of vocal tract properties during serial production of vowels by full term and preterm infants. Infant Behavior &Development, 23, 421-439.
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