Speech acquisition

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Speech acquisition or early language acquisition focuses on the development of spoken language by a child. While grammatical and syntactic learning can be seen as a part of language acquisition, speech acquisition focuses on the development of speech perception and speech production over the first years of a child's lifetime.

Development of speech perception[edit]

Sensory learning concerning acoustic speech signals already starts during pregnancy. The newborn is already capable of discerning many phonetic contrasts. This capability may be innate. Speech perception becomes language-specific for vowels at around 6 months, for sound combinations at around 9 months and for language-specific consonants at around 11 months.[1]

It is also important that a newborn is already capable of detecting typical word stress patterns around the age of 8 months.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kuhl PK (November 2004). "Early language acquisition: cracking the speech code". Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 5 (11): 831–43. doi:10.1038/nrn1533. PMID 15496861. 

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