Babbles refer to vowel/consonant combinations that infants begin to produce at about 4 to 6 months of age.

In psychology, babbling refers to the prelinguistic vocalizations made by infants during the first year of life. Babbling is a critical stage in language acquisition, during which infants experiment with sounds and begin to develop the ability to produce language.

Babbling typically begins around 6 months of age and continues until the child's first words appear. During this stage, infants produce a wide variety of sounds, including consonants and vowels, and begin to experiment with intonation and stress patterns. Babbling can be divided into two types: reduplicated babbling and variegated babbling.

Reduplicated babbling involves repeating the same syllable or sound, such as "ba ba ba" or "ma ma ma." This type of babbling is more common in the early stages of babbling and is thought to reflect the infant's developing motor skills.

Variegated babbling involves producing a variety of sounds and syllables in different combinations, such as "ba da ga" or "ma me bu." This type of babbling is more common in later stages of babbling and is thought to reflect the infant's increasing ability to control and coordinate their vocalizations.

Babbling is an important stage in language development because it allows infants to practice the sounds and rhythms of their native language. Research has shown that infants who receive more exposure to language from caregivers tend to babble more frequently and with greater variety. Additionally, infants who experience hearing loss or other language delays may have difficulty with babbling and other early language skills.

Other similar concepts in psychology include:

  1. Cooing: This refers to the soft vocalizations made by infants in the first few months of life. Cooing typically involves vowel sounds and is thought to be a precursor to babbling.

  2. Jargon: This refers to the use of intonation and stress patterns that mimic adult speech but do not contain meaningful words or phrases. Jargon typically appears in the later stages of babbling and is thought to reflect the infant's increasing ability to mimic the rhythm and melody of language.

  3. Proto-words: These are words that are used by infants to refer to specific people or objects but are not actual words in the language. Proto-words are often used consistently by infants and can be thought of as a bridge between babbling and real language.

  4. Language acquisition device: This is a theoretical construct proposed by linguist Noam Chomsky to explain how children acquire language. The language acquisition device is thought to be an innate, specialized cognitive mechanism that enables children to rapidly learn the rules and structures of their native language.

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