The development of language

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Just like with the first steps, even for the pronunciation of the first words there is a right moment for every single child. That is, every child has times and ways of learning language that can be very different, so it doesn't make much sense to be alarmed if he hasn't reached the same goals as a peer. Given this, for purely indicative purposes, below is the procedure that generally leads to the conquest of the first words and then of the first sentences of complete meaning.

  • from the fourth-fifth month begins to emit some vowels, usually the "u", with a high-pitched and trilling tone. Between the sixth and eighth month the lallation begins, that is the emission of syllables (ma, pa, ba, ta, ca, la).

  • after ten months begins to utter meaningful words. More frequently it is "dad" and "baby food". Sometimes he can already clearly say "mum" and "sleep" even if the doubt may arise that he does not yet fully know their meaning

  • between eleven and twelve months masters and understands the meaning of multiple words: mom, dad, grandfather, grandmother, nanny. He can coin extremely explanatory terms: brum (automobile); quaqua (water); bau (dog); clo-clo (horse). At 12 months, she is almost always able to make herself understood and to express specific requests.

For the pronunciation of sentences consisting of a subject and verb (give me the water) you generally have to wait at least 18 months.

  • The possibility that the year of life does not speak yet is of little importance, but if the child demonstrates that he understands what he is told, he turns around when he is called by name and obeys small orders (take the biscuit, give me the ball) . To facilitate the acquisition of language, nursery rhymes and songs are helpful. It is also good to name the objects that are used (here is the comb; let's put on the shoes) and explain the actions that are performed (the mother now prepares the baby food).
  • Of fundamental importance is to use the words without ever distorting them. It shouldn't even be done to jokingly imitate the child, in case he is the one who mispronounces them, because the parents' job is to teach them correctly.

    (consultancy by Leo Venturelli, family pediatrician, author of numerous publications on outpatient pediatrics and co-author of popular books for parents including A child is born, The great encyclopedia of the child, From 0 to 6 years, a guide for the family )

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