- Dr. Andrea McDuffie
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Phonetically consistent form; Quasi-words; Vocable
Protowords are word-like forms produced by young children as they transition from prelinguistic to linguistic communication (i.e., the time at which children produce intelligible single words that approximate conventional pronunciation). In typical development, protowords emerge between 10 and 12 months of age and are made up of the types of sounds that children use when babbling. Common examples of protowords are mama, dada, and baba. Protowords differ from repetitive babbling in two critical ways: (a) protowords are limited to one to two syllables in length and (b) protowords are used consistently by the child to refer to a corresponding object, person, or event in the child's immediate context. Protowords also have been referred to as repeatedly occurring phonetic units loosely bound to specifiable contexts.
- Dore, J., Franklin, M., Miller, R., & Ramer, A. (1975). Transitional phenomena in early language acquisition. Journal of Child Language, 3, 13–28.
- Ferguson, C. A. (1976). Learning to pronounce: The earliest stages of phonological development in the child. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, 11, 1–27.
- Menyuk, P., & Menn, L. (1979). Early strategies for the perception and production of words and sounds. In P. Fletcher & M. Garman (Eds.), Language acquisition: Studies on first language development. Cambridge, MA: CUP.
- Vihman, M., & McCune, L. (1994). When is a word a word? Jounal of Child Language, 21, 317–342.
- Reference Work Title
- Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders
- p 2420
- Print ISBN
- Online ISBN
- Springer New York
- Copyright Holder
- Springer Science+Business Media New York
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- Fred R. Volkmar (1)
- Editor Affiliations
- 1. Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology Yale University School of Medicine, Chief, Child Psychiatry Children's Hospital at Yale-New Haven Child Study Center
- Dr. Andrea McDuffie (16941)
- Author Affiliations
- 16941. M.I.N.D. Institute, Sacramento, CA, USA
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