Functional flexibility of infant vocalization and the emergence of language

  title={Functional flexibility of infant vocalization and the emergence of language},
  author={D. Kimbrough Oller and Eugene H. Buder and Heather L. Ramsdell and Anne S. Warlaumont and Lesya B. Chorna and Roger Bakeman},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  pages={6318 - 6323}
We report on the emergence of functional flexibility in vocalizations of human infants. This vastly underappreciated capability becomes apparent when prelinguistic vocalizations express a full range of emotional content—positive, neutral, and negative. The data show that at least three types of infant vocalizations (squeals, vowel-like sounds, and growls) occur with this full range of expression by 3–4 mo of age. In contrast, infant cry and laughter, which are species-specific signals… 

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