✔ SPEECH IS AN AUDITORY EXPRESSION OF THOUGHTS. WE SPEAK AS WE HEAR!
✔ SPEECH IS A SET OF SEQUENTIAL COORDINATED MOVEMENTS OF THE SPEECH MUSCLES OF A SPEAKER
✔ SPEECH IS A SET OF LEARNED SKILLS
We all have 5 senses, such as: vision, hearing, smell, taste, and tactile perception. Speech is our expression of information that has been stored in our memory (brain) through our hearing/ears…. We do not see, smell, touch, or taste sounds of speech. We can only HEAR them. Therefore, in order to be able to quickly retrieve necessary information (words – sound sequences) from our memory, it has to be stored there correctly first.
The skill of speaking (producing various sounds) is not present in newborn babies, which have the same set of speech organs – one tongue and two lips… No matter where they are born – they all produce the same first sound: “A-a-a” because they simply do not know any other sounds yet. Speech & language genes do not exist!
Every baby is like a foreigner to adults around because he/she does not know any language yet. He has to LEARN it from scratch. All babies start acquisition of the speech sounds with the same ringtones (vowel sound melodicas) and then, coringtones (consonant one-sound and multiple-sound melodicas). They play with their speech apparatus: FEEL their their lips and tongue movements, release the flow of air through them, LISTEN to the sounds they produce, figure out which sounds match the sounds that adults around them pronounce and then, learn and master their articulatory movements in accordance with those specific sounds that would bring a child some benefits – when he/she produces them. The baby is LEARNING something like this: “If I move my mouth to produce a sequence of melodicas /gi/–> /v/, then, my mommy will GIVE me a toy”!
So, our speech apparatus is a SIMPLE instrument that is built to make (shape!) sounds of our voice. All babies have to learn how to move their speech organs to form speech sounds in the same way as later in their lives, children have to learn to move their hand to form letters! Because they do not have this skill to draw letters at birth, they have to train their hand muscles for such action. The same way, we learn to move our speech organs to form sound positions. Just like all other muscle skills (swimming, riding a bike, playing a musical instrument or driving a car), speaking is not inherent, not transferred through our genes. It must be learned.
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