A child's entrance into human society begins with the onset of language development. Parents often acknowledge this accomplishment upon hearing their infant's first words. Research on early language has convinced scientists that the emergence of first words is inseparable from important developmental milestones that occur prior to the recording of these words. Pre-speech vocalizations can be examined narrowly within the verbal domain only, or can be explored in a wider scope as related to cognitive and communicative developments that are established during the first year of life. The study of pre-speech vocalizations flourished during the last quarter of the twentieth century. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, most efforts concentrated on describing the sounds infants produce. In the 1990s, study of pre-speech development expanded in several important directions.
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