Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Jill F. Nilsen


This study examined the use of quasi-words in eight normally developing infants from eight-and-one-half months to ten-and-one-half months . The infants were video-taped for thirty minutes once a week for 16 consecutive weeks . Spontaneous utterances were transcribed and categorized as babbling, quasi-words, or true words . Utterances were additionally analyzed to determine phonetic inventories, dominant place and manner, and syllable shapes.

Results revealed the use of quasi-words by all subjects . Further analysis revealed that subjects utilized two types of quasi-words, primitive quasi-words and complex quasi-words. Results revealed a correlation between complex quasi-words and true-words . Results further revealed that the use of primitive quasi-words slowed down true-word acquisition. Stop plosive was the dominant manner of production used by infants . Alveolars, bilabials, and velars were the dominant places of production by subjects . Phonemes most frequently produced were /p/, /b/, /g/, /w/, /j/, and /h/.