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A grammatically unstructured speech segment, usually a single word, characteristic of the earliest stage of language acquisition in children, such as mama or allgone, according to some authorities analysable as one-word sentences (as in mama = There is mama or allgone = It is all gone) and sometimes found in the language of adults in utterances such as thanks and sorry. Compare pivot grammar, telegraphic speech. holophrastic adj. [From Greek holos whole + phrazein to express]

Subjects: Psychology.

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