3V2000.03 Change of Babbling Vocabulary; relation of sounds to communication protocols 8/10

The babbling vocabulary is changing. Over past weeks, Peggy’s babbling was dominated by the /b/ sounds (with occasional /m/’s). Gretchen believes that once Peggy commands a consonant, she tries it with various vowels. My recollection of her dominant pattern is this: /bae//b/\//b/\//bwae/. During this week the dominant plosive has been replaced by ‘G’. Thus she is now saying /gae/gae/gae/. This is an opportunity for jokes with Miriam because her friends’ kindergarten imitation of babies was always /goo/goo/gae/gae/.

Which is more important in Peggy’s conversations: imitation of sounds or the recognition of a communication protocol? I believe the latter is — because when Peggy starts to talk (/ae/ae/) it appears not to matter to her what sounds are made by her respondent…as long as they are not so extensive and complexly modulated to suggest speech between competent speakers of the language. [Partially illegible note about the respondent talking to someone else]. The importance of specific imitations noted earlier (cf. 7/23/78) appears to be in making clear that she and I were communication [sic] by turns with each other, i.e. that the succession of sounds was not a random and uncaused verbal response.

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