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Baby's first words

Baby's first words


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Around 8 months (in some cases, before), babies begin to say their first words that follow the babbling. They are usually emitted in isolation and are only phonetic approximations to adult words, but they all perform a function. These first words, which have been counted around 50 in most children, are used to refer to specific objects or situations.

At the beginning, they are usually difficult for parents to recognize because they are conditioned by the anatomical constrictions imposed by the child's speech apparatus, since in the newborn, the larynx, which is the organ that allows speech, is located higher than in adults and the tongue occupies practically the entire mouth. Little by little, it descends and, with it, the baby gains the appropriate mechanisms to articulate sounds.

Understanding babies in their early stages of language development is challenging for their parents and the people who care for them. The trust that the baby has placed in them and the affection that this bond has developed will feed their desire to connect with them and enrich their communication resources. Meanwhile, it is important for adults to be very aware of what our baby wants to tell us to encourage him in his effort to conquer language.

In this adventure of "guessing" what it says, we find three characteristics to take into account:

1. One word, many meaningsMost of babies' first words fulfill special communicative functions and the same word can have many meanings. Thus, when the baby says "water" he may be expressing that he "wants water" or that he "just had water" and parents have to guess, depending on the context, what exactly he is telling us.

2. Synthesis capacity: Some words begin, but do not end and others end, but do not begin. This is the capacity for synthesis in phonetics. For example, "oche" can refer to "car" or "yeyo" to Diego.

3. General concepts: The same word is used to name several things that have some resemblance or similarity. For example, it has been observed that infants at this stage tend to generalize by calling all round objects "balls."

The first words will always be produced in a certain context marked by personal, temporal or spatial circumstances because in them function and reference are closely linked.

1. Personal. Dad, mother Y me are the first words that appear within the personal reference. The baby is able to identify himself and his closest interlocutors who are mom and dad.

2. Temporary give to me Y have they appear in time with the same force as personal ones. With the word give to me express request and with have offering.

3. Space. Come Y plus they place people, people, and objects in space. Baby uses come to request to be accompanied and plusto demand continuation.

There are other reasons that are imposed when choosing some words in the baby's first lexicon. One of them has to do with gestures, the communication resource has used the baby to communicate up to now. For this reason, some of these first words coexist in principle with gestures. This is the case of the words Hello Y goodbye, which express the greeting and are accompanied by hand gestures and, Yes Y do not, which show acceptance or denial and are usually accompanied by movements of the head.

The frequency The appearance of words in the baby's environment is also decisive, since the words that adults more repeat the baby is the first to acquire. But what really leads the baby to enrich its lexicon is the intention of want to communicate and they arise from their desire to understand and categorize their environment. Thus, it has been observed that, in babies with older siblings, the word Ownwith a much higher incidence than first-born babies.

After the conquest of the first words, the evolution of language progresses irregularly. At first, progress is slow. He is able to repeat 50 words, although he knows the meaning of about 200. From the age of two, his progress is spectacular. During these months, the number of known words increases much more than in any other period and they stop being pronounced in isolation to form sentences.

You can read more articles similar to Baby's first words, in the category of On-site Verbal Language.


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