Consonant Confusions

One thing that always makes me laugh is hearing T confuse different consonants. Besides being really cute, the substitutions of one consonant for another makes sense based on the place of articulation and manner of articulation. (I wrote more about consonants here!)

For example, T has sometimes been substituting “ba” for “ma” – both of these have a bilabial place of articulation (the lips are pressed together when you make the sound), but “ba” is a stop consonant (that’s the manner of articulation – you stop airflow with the lips before you release the lips to make the “ba” sound), whereas “ma” is a nasal consonant (air flows through the nose while you make the “mmm” sound). I’ll often ask T to “say mama!” and he’ll grin and say “baba!”

One other SUPER cute thing he’s been doing this week is substituting kisses for “ba” and “ma” – if I ask him to say either “bubbles” or “mama,” he’ll sometimes blow a kiss! This was SO interesting to me, because while blowing a kiss isn’t a proper consonant, it is a bilabial action, just like “ba” and “ma”!



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