The Importance of Imitation in the Early Stages of Speech Acquisition: A Case Report Many linguists believe that imitation is not a factor in the very early stages of speech acquisition. They also believe that the infant is incapable of imitating sounds he has not previously produced independently. This report concerns an infant who, during her sixth week, spent more time listening to the ... Case Reports
Case Reports  |   November 01, 1973
The Importance of Imitation in the Early Stages of Speech Acquisition: A Case Report
 
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Case Reports   |   November 01, 1973
The Importance of Imitation in the Early Stages of Speech Acquisition: A Case Report
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, November 1973, Vol. 38, 490-494. doi:10.1044/jshd.3804.490
History: Received February 2, 1973 , Accepted May 10, 1973
 
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, November 1973, Vol. 38, 490-494. doi:10.1044/jshd.3804.490
History: Received February 2, 1973; Accepted May 10, 1973

Many linguists believe that imitation is not a factor in the very early stages of speech acquisition. They also believe that the infant is incapable of imitating sounds he has not previously produced independently. This report concerns an infant who, during her sixth week, spent more time listening to the noises of birds than to the noises of humans. She began to make high-pitched shrieks similar to the birds' calls. This indicates that imitation may be more important to speech development than current theories indicate. The findings of this case study are discussed, especially as they apply to Mowrer’s autism theory of speech development.

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