The development of speech in ontogenesis

N. V. Nishcheva

A.N. Gvozdev revealed the logic of mastering the native language. He considered the development of speech in a linguistic aspect and depicted it linearly: cries – cooing – babble – words – phrases – sentences – a coherent story.

Cries occur in a child on their own, without prompting from an adult. The child screams when he wants to eat, feels pain, etc., i.e. with the help of a cry, he expresses a state of discomfort. The mother hears the reflex cry of a newborn in the delivery room. The reflex cry persists in the child up to eight weeks . In a healthy child, the cry is loud and clear with a short inhalation and a prolonged exhalation. With normal development, in the process of emotional communication, the cries of the child gradually “fade out”, and they are replaced by humming, and then cooing.

The period of walking lasts from 2 to 5 months . At first, vowels occupy a predominant place in the humming. As many researchers note, not all sounds uttered at this time by a child correspond to the sounds of their native language. At this time, the child responds with a smile to the adult’s appeal, looks for the source of the sound, turning his head. It should be noted that cooing, as well as babbling later, does not arise spontaneously in a child, their appearance is due to emotional communication with adults. Already at three months, the child is looking for an adult look. Primitive sounds disappear, drawn-out melodious vowels and complex complexes of sounds appear: AGU, UGI, AGA, etc. By the end of the third month, the first laughter appears. At four months, the child clearly localizes the source of the sound in space, continues to walk melodiously, which contributes to the development of speech breathing, and laughs long and loudly. The child has a complex of revival with laughter during emotional communication with an adult. At first, laryngeal sounds predominate in the child, then labial and anterior lingual sounds begin to appear, the articulation of which is similar to the act of sucking, then fricative sounds ([V], [F], [S], [Z]).

From five months, the period of babbling begins, which lasts up to 10-12 months . At the beginning of this period, the child has echolalic repetition after others. It is at this time that the child begins to pay attention to the articulation of the speaker. In hearing-impaired and deaf children, cooing at this age “fades out”, as there is no control from hearing. In babbling, syllables characteristic of the words of this language are clearly captured. Children begin to reproduce more often those syllables that are reinforced by adults, i.e. repeat after the child.

At six months, the child pronounces well individual syllables with labial consonants and simple soft anterior linguals and even chains of syllables with them. Interestingly, during the period of babbling, the child pronounces the most diverse and complex sounds, and then slowly and with great difficulty learns to articulate them in a word. It is noted that even the sound [r] is present in the babbling of many babies, only hissing ones are absent. There is nothing surprising here. The fact is that babble reigns involuntariness. The child does not yet need to reproduce certain sounds at a certain moment, in certain combinations. Stella Naumovna Tseitlin said that the babbling of a child can be likened to the singing of a bird.

By seven months, babbling becomes socialized. The child attracts the attention of others with vocal reactions. The syllables uttered by the child still have no semantic meaning for him, but are a peculiar form of independent activity. In the babbling of a seven-eight-month-old child, one can already notice a certain semblance of intonation, and the contours of intonational structures characteristic of the native language are increasingly heard. This is a manifestation of unconscious imitation of the speech of others.

At nine months , the so-called modulated babble or babbling recitation appears. The child pronounces syllables and chains of syllables with different intonations.

From the age of ten months , a period of arbitrary imitation begins, the child tries to repeat individual syllables and even words after an adult. Some children have the first independent words in speech.

At eleven months , the child has the words NO, YES with the appropriate gestures.

By one year, the weight of a child’s brain doubles. A normally developing child has at least 10-15 consciously used words by the year (MAMA, MEOW, BABA, BAH, BY-BY, BI-BI, PAPA, PAY, NANNY, NO-NO, GIVE, UNCLE, DEDA, TU -TU, Aunt, KO-KO, KIS, GULYA, GA-GA, LYALA), but the word in the child is still evoked by adults, the child still does not need to use words. Some researchers believe that the appearance of the first words cannot be considered the beginning of oral speech at all. What is meant when it is said that the child has spoken? Some consider these very words to be the beginning of oral speech, which the child diffusely refers to a whole set of objects that are not related to each other. Others argue that speech is the mastery of the nominative function of the word. The second reason for the uncertainty existing in the literature in indicating the normative terms for the onset of expressive speech is associated with the poorly studied individual dynamics of its development. It is well known that in the same family, children begin to speak at different times. As a rule, older children learn language faster than their younger siblings. Social reasons that determine the intensity and quality of communication between adults and a child are also a significant factor influencing the dynamics of speech development, including the onset of expressive speech. This process is influenced by heredity and the state of health of the child. There is a belief that girls start talking earlier and their speech develops faster. This is due to differences in the structure of the brain of girls and boys, in the functions of its departments. Boys have a different tactic for comprehension of speech due to pronounced interhemispheric asymmetry. In boys, a predicative vocabulary is formed earlier, in contrast to girls, who first form a nominative vocabulary. Seeing the ball, the girl is likely to call it, and the boy will say: “Give it!” In accordance with the latest research, two-year-old boys have from 50 to 80 verbs in their vocabulary, while girls have no more than 25-28 verbs. It is for this reason that boys are more likely to come up with a phrase; they develop the grammatical structure of speech relatively early. But the time shift in favor of boys in relation to the beginning of phrasal speech does not exceed 2-3 months. In phonetic design, the speech of little girls is more perfect than the speech of little boys.

All researchers agree that in 1 year 2 months the first elementary manifestations of initiative in the use of the word begin. For example, seeing a horse, the child says: BUT-BUT.

A significant period in the development of a child’s speech is the age from one and a half years to three years. Experts call this age the period of registration of independent speech. How does a child’s speech develop from the age of two?

Early preschool age (from 2 to 3 years old)


By the age of two, a normally developing child has between two hundred and fifty and three hundred words in everyday life. At this time, the child begins to use not only nouns and verbs, but also other parts of speech:

personal pronouns (I, HE, SHE, YOU, WE);


· adjectives (RED, BIG, SMALL, GOOD, BAD);

simple prepositions (ON, IN, UNDER, Y, FOR);

connecting unions (A, I).

Nouns make up about 63%, verbs – 23%, other parts of speech – 14%.

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