Baby talk and the emergence of first words

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):517-518 (2004)
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Words denoting “mother” in baby talk and in languages usually include nasal sounds, supporting Falk's suggestion that infant nasalized demand vocalizations might have motivated a first word. The linguistic contrast between maternal terms and paternal terms, which favor oral consonants, and the simple phonetic patterns of parental terms in both baby talk and languages also suggest parental terms could have been first words.



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