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Babbling - Wikipedia

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Raising Girls In 3 Words. Please whitelist our site to get all the best deals and offers from our partners. Can Pregnancy-Related Depression be Prevented? Follow Us On. Research has been conducted to determine whether or not infants with impaired hearing can demonstrate typical vocal sounds. Babbling can appear at the same age and in similar forms in hearing and deaf child, however, further continuation of babbling and speech development depends upon the ability for the child to hear themselves. For this reason, deaf children stop babbling vocally earlier than hearing children.

Some researchers have taken these findings as evidence against the hypothesis that language is an innate human capability. A number of solutions have been used for hearing-impaired humans to gain auditory experience, one of which is hearing aids ; they can be used to help infants reach babbling stages earlier.

Once the surgical implantation is complete, an infant has the opportunity to experience spoken language input. Once language has been heard, the infant begins to babble and speak in rhythmic patterns just as hearing infants do. Though there is disagreement about the uniqueness of language to humans, babbling is not unique to the human species. These ranges of sounds are used in the young of many species to experiment with sound-making capabilities, or to practice for future vocal behavior. Similar to human infants, animal babbling is restricted by physiological development.

Not only are songbird and human language parallel regarding neural and molecular factors, they also are similar in how their communication is initially produced. Observations about these similarities can be traced back to Charles Darwin and his studies. Avian and mammalian brains are similar in form and connectivity and there may even be a gene that is relevant to speech found in both organisms.

The learning of a song is produced through a mix of interaction, experience, and predisposition. Young songbirds will imitate their species' call when presented with songs from their own and another species. They are physically capable of producing either song, but do not. Humans learn language through similar means, which is why this early vocalization in songbirds is considered babbling. Young male songbirds produce varieties of immature songs that are referred to as babbling because the immature songs precede those that are fully developed.

As with humans, if these songs are reinforced with positive social feedback, they are more likely to recur. Since the females do not sing songs, they are in charge of providing the feedback. If females provide more social signals as feedback, males will develop more mature songs at a faster rate than other male birds.

Young birds require reinforcement from adults in order to finalize their songs. Another relation to human infants is that the amount of vocalizations is not key, but rather the quality of the sounds that is retained and resembles the final produce of language. The physiology of the animal is important. The properties of the ear and vocal tract, as well as the brain regions used in analyzing and processing information are critical determinants of how song is interpreted and later produced.

This shows that the neural pathways have predetermined features that allow for such a phenomenon to occur.

The pathways are able to allow for plasticity of the songs that can be learned in the future. There is an important phase in development when song learning is best accomplished. Young birds have a production phase after a listening phase of development. Memory for songs is able to form before the period where learning to sing occurs. Social interaction is important in vocal learning where non-singing females can even influence an infant through feedback. Pygmy marmosets have been studied and found to produce complex vocalizations 2—3 weeks after birth.


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A normal series of calls by a pygmy marmoset contains approximately 10 different call types. This variety of call forms produced by this creature is comparable to babbling in human infants for a number of reasons. Like reduplicative babbling in humans, the call is often repeated several times before a new sequence of sounds is produced. The vocalizations gain attention from caregivers and provide practice for future vocal behavior. For these reasons, pygmy marmoset calls are seen as babbling behavior. There are a total of 16 call types in pygmy marmoset babbling language.

Different calls serve different survival functions such as when desiring food, social interaction or during times of alarm. As human infants have, marmoset babies have higher rates of social interaction when producing babbling sounds. During the juvenile age, marmosets often regress back to babbling stages if a new infant is born.

It is suggested that their production of babbling calls increases because they are seeking attention and social interaction. Another babbling occurrence during the juvenile age is the addition of territorial calls and mild threat vocalizations. Although babbling is important for practising adult calls during the juvenile age, babbling decreases with age in pygmy marmosets. Overall, babbling progresses through a series of stages from infancy to adulthood and slowly leads to the construction of adult calls.

Babbling-like behavior in songbirds, humans and some nonhuman primates has been previously researched, but it has not been researched until recently in non-primate mammals. The sac-winged bat Saccopteryx bilineata is a social creature and the vocalizations that it produces depend on the social situation that the animal is in. This bat has a large repertoire of vocalizations with males being more vocal than females.

Echolocation pulses, barks, chatters, and screeches are used in various social situations including courtship and territorial defense. Infants produce isolation calls if their mothers are absent, but the pups also produce vocalizations that mirror those of adults. Both sexes of infants babble, even though as an adult, the vocalizations are solely produced by males.

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Social context, mothers, and surrounding bats do not influence pups because the multiple vocalizations are combined regardless of the situation. Since there is not a social aspect correlated with the vocalizations, the productions of the sounds suggest that the pups vocalize for training.

The pups repeat and combine adult vocalizations so that they resemble babbling in what humans, other primates and some songbirds do as infants. However, while human babbling increases social interactions, there are no social responses to babbling in bats.

babble (v.)

Babbling is common in infants that have a large repertoire of adult vocalizations to learn and this is seen in the pups of sac-winged bat. Middle English babelen , probably of imitative origin. See more words from the same century. More Definitions for babble. See the full definition for babble in the English Language Learners Dictionary. Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with babble.

Spanish Central: Translation of babble.

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Nglish: Translation of babble for Spanish Speakers. Britannica English: Translation of babble for Arabic Speakers. What made you want to look up babble? Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

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It was our duty to inform you. You all would not have guessed some of these. Some imitative words are more surprising than others. How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts.