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How Children Learn to Learn Language$
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Lorraine McCune

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195177879

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195177879.001.0001

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The Vocal Story: Forming Sounds into Words

The Vocal Story: Forming Sounds into Words

(p.153) 7 The Vocal Story: Forming Sounds into Words
How Children Learn to Learn Language

Lorraine McCune

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the phonetic skills that serve the child in the construction of form/meaning correspondences: first the production of a repertoire of well-practiced consonant sounds, and second the development of individual and systematic phonological motor patterns. Topics covered include phonetic skill at the transition to speech, vocal motor schemes (VMSs), VMS consonant repertoires and production of words, VMS repertoire as a measure of specific consonant skills related to language, and the use of VMS during the transition to reference. It is shown that both VMS development and template-based organization of the early lexicon exemplify the mutual regulation between sound and meaning. Once a greater capacity for mental representation has developed, this capacity prompts integrative application of phonetic capacities to potential word meanings experienced in the environment.

Keywords:   phonetic skills, consonant sounds, vocal motor schemes, transition to reference, mental representation

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