Manual babbling

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Manual babbling is a linguistic phenomena that has been observed in deaf children and children born to deaf parents and appears at the early stages of language acquisition. It is characterized by repetitive movements that are confined to a limited area in front of the body similar to the sign-phonetic space used in sign languages.[1] In their 1991 paper, Pettito and Marantette concluded that between 40% and 70% of deaf children's hand movements can be classified as manual babbling.[2][3]


  1. ^ Petitto LA, Holowka S, Sergio LE, Ostry D (September 2001). "Language rhythms in baby hand movements" (PDF). Nature 413 (6851): 35–6. doi:10.1038/35092613. PMID 11544514. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  2. ^ Marschark, Marc; Spencer, Patricia Elizabeth (11 January 2011). The Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies, Language, and Education. Oxford University Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-19-975098-6. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Petitto, L.; Marentette, P. (1991). "Babbling in the manual mode: evidence for the ontogeny of language" (PDF). Science 251 (5000): 1493–1496. doi:10.1126/science.2006424. ISSN 0036-8075. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 

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