Definition of preverbal in English:



  • 1Existing or occurring before the development of speech.

    ‘preverbal communication’
    • ‘Even the preverbal crowd is charmed by Gurney's hipster beatnik monkeys as they drum their way through this board book.’
    • ‘A preverbal toddler telling Mommy she loves her - now that is special.’
    • ‘But there has been a nonstop deluge of bad news for ink on paper types that makes you wonder whether there is light at the end of the preverbal tunnel.’
    • ‘Gestures of signs make more sense to the preverbal child.’
    • ‘These data add to previous evidence that numerical approximation is a basic competence, independent of language, and available even to preverbal infants and many animal species.’
    • ‘Von Rydingsvard's sculptures are striking for their size, their roughness and their ability to evoke sensations in the viewer that seem to arise out of preverbal intelligence.’
    • ‘With it the person poses tentative, general, preverbal hypotheses in terms of which to scan for confirmatory evidence.’
    • ‘The phantasmagoria or magic lantern show is one of the ‘figures not yet at her command’ in which her preverbal consciousness is assimilated to a spectacular model.’
    • ‘Psychologists look at this art in terms of the development of a person's cognitive capacities or as a way of discovering a child's non- or preverbal psychic state.’
    • ‘Even preverbal children can be invited to point to where in their bodies it might feel shaky, numb, calm, and so forth.’
    • ‘Daddy's take on interacting with a preverbal child is particularly hysterical - and sweet.’
    • ‘It's as if gay men represent something so primally unsettling, so disconcerting on some primordial, preverbal level, that violence becomes, for some heterosexual men, the instinctive response.’
    • ‘Klein attempts in a very graphic way to put into words preverbal experiences by describing the ways bodily and sensory experiences are registered in the mind.’
    • ‘But an awful lot of preverbal emotional signaling and interactions are going on in the first two years of life, which lay the groundwork and the foundation for language.’
    • ‘But this was purely on pre-release sales and the album forthwith dropped out of the charts like the preverbal falling brick.’
    • ‘Some use only a few signs, so that a young toddler can express basic needs (milk, eat, more) until he or she gets over the preverbal hump.’
    • ‘It is ingrained at a preverbal level from the time we are infants; it is our earliest socialization experience.’
    • ‘I began by sketching two systems of preverbal representation with numerical content: the analog magnitude system and the system of parallel individuation.’
    • ‘In order to accommodate preverbal children, neonates, and nonverbal adults, various reliable and valid tools to assess these special populations are available.’
  • 2Grammar
    Occurring before a verb.

    ‘preverbal particles’
    • ‘Typical grammatical features in European-based Creoles include the use of preverbal negation and subject-verb-object word order: for example (from Sranan in Surinam) A no koti a brede, He didn't cut the bread.’
    • ‘There is also the problem of having both a preverbal adverb ‘unreasonably’ and a post-verbal adverbial ‘in error’.’
    • ‘Although most Creoles have preverbal particles rather than inflections, Berbice Dutch is unique among the deeper creoles of the Caribbean in its use of a mixture of preverbal particles and suffixes in its tense-mood-aspect system.’