Oller’ study (1980) continues to be wisely referenced when looking at the stages child go through in the acquisition of prelinguistic speech and phonological development. 

Birth – 1 month: Phonation

  • Demonstrates vocalizations such as crying, burping, coughing and sneezing
  • Demonstrates sounds that are similar to /Mmm/ and /Nnnn/

2 – 3 months: Cooing & Gooing

  • Produces vowels and consonant combinations such as “Awg”, “Coo”, “Goo” 

4 – 6 months: Exploration/Expansion

  • Increased control of vocal tract during this period and able to engage in vocal play
  • Squeals, growls, yells, produces “raspberries”
  • Produces vocalizations that vary
  • Begins babbling “baba”, “mama”

7-9 months: Canonical Babbling 

  • Produce true reduplicated babbling that is controlled and adult-like “mama”, “baba”
  • Emerging sounds of /p/, /d/, /ing/, /y/

10-12 months

  • Begins to use variegated (variety) babbling; uses different CV syllables that result in verbalizations such a “Bamaga” and “Tikati”
  • Produces adult-like intonation and prosody, resulting in sentences that sound like a real question or exclamation
  • Frequently used consonants at this time: h, d, b,m, t, g,s, w, n, k, j, p 
  • Most commonly used vowels: /Eh/ as in “rEd”; /Uh/ as in “mUd”; /Ah/ as in “cOd”