Understanding “Uhs”

Christie Nicholson summarizes a recent study featured in Developmental Science. Babies between 18 and 30 months sat before a banana and an abstract made-up object:

A recorded voice said things like: I see a banana, or There is uh, um, uh a banana. When the voice stumbled, children who were more than 24 months tended to look at the made-up object more often than at the familiar object. Because children who’ve reached that age understand that uhs often precede unknowns.