June 23, 2006

The First 7 Months

Posted in Language Development at 11:35 am by Transmuter

I had been meaning to start this blog several months ago, but never got around to it until school got out for the summer. Now I will try to recap my daughter Kyla's language development during the first seven months of her life.

As a newborn she was only able to cry when unhappy, and was generally silent otherwise. At some point (see why I need to write these things down when they happen?) she began to make cooing noises, primarily vowel sounds. These were not distinct vowels, though. I would just say they were [+sonorant] noises.

Her first consonant was [b], at around 4 months (I think). She coupled this with a low front vowel, which generally ranged around [a] and [æ] (the vowel sound in "at"). So she would say things like [bababæbæbæba].

Her next consonant was [d] at around 5 months, which I enjoyed because she would say [dædæ]. I know that she was just babbling and didn't associate the sounds to me, but it made me feel happy as a new dad to hear her say it. Interestingly, when she learned to produce [d] she stopped producing the [b]. She would also devoice the vowels and add glottal fricatives, saying [dæhdæh] in kind of a loud, breathy, whisper-like manner.

Around the same time she learned to make raspberries. I'd say they were bilabial trills, but she tightened her lips much more than necessary, so instead of a "motorboat" sound it came out as a "fart" noise.

Both the [d] sound and the raspberries stopped when she learned the [m] sound. Now it was her mother's turn to be happy when she said [mama]. Generally she would draw out the [m] of [mamama], as if she was just pronouncinga long [m] and occasionally opening her mouth.

As of now (7 months), Kyla has rediscovered the [d] and raspberries. She also says [m], but I haven't heard her say [b] in quite a while. She has her two lower incisors in, and I expect more to arrive in the coming months.

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1 Comment »

  1. Michael Grow said,

    That is cute. Virginia actually made the [m] sound first, occasionally letting out something that resembled “mama”.

    Like Kyla, she forgot that sound when she discovered new ones. One day she just started saying, “blabelabelabel…”. She could go for minutes at a time making that sound.

    She also discovered the raspberry recently. Furthermore, she has learned that combining this activity with eating makes for the BEST GAME EVER!

    Just before the age of six months, it was as if someone had flipped a switch in her. Now, she does not cry because of instinct. She is choosing to cry because some connection in her brain formed that let her know crying works.

    It can be a pain at times, but it will never stop being fascinating watching them turn into little people.

    By the way, I wrote this on Brett’s blog, but in case it did not get relayed to you, Kyla is the cutest child alive. I think she is even cuter than my own! Ghehe.

    -Michael


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