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spires from Carfax

language at two

Children, — January 2015

Her vocabulary grows apace, but Helen has made little progress with syntax or morphology, with most utterances consisting of just two or three words lacking any inflection. Nouns still dominate, and are often repeated back quite creditably after a single encounter - e.g. "crenellations" this evening. Possesives are common but unmarked - "Mummy tea". Verbs are popular in the imperative - "play!" - and lack any tense marking - "Daddy shower", "Mummy shopping" before, during and after the event. There are adjectives such as "hot" and "warm" and some place modifiers, e.g. "Daddy sit down", "sit there". But there are no grammatical words yet, and no modal verbs.

Pronunciation is steadily improving - we get quite a decent "pomegranate" now, where we used to have something like "poməm", and she can say "open" so I'm pretty sure she's now saying "opidoor" instead largely because it gets a reaction from us (though "tuckle" for "cuddle" is I think due to the difficulty of the final syllable). And memory, especially for songs, seems to have made a huge leap in the last two or three weeks. She can sing right through Baa Baa Black Sheep, Jingle Bells, and so forth - and even knows the lyrics to Donna Donna Donna (which she calls "wagon").

Due to a bit of exposure to the iPad "Endless ABC" app and a number of alphabet toys, Helen now recognises all the upper case letters quite easily, and most of the lower case ones. And she's starting to make connections with words - H is for Helen, D for Daddy, M for Mummy and so forth - though I don't know if there's any phonetic understanding yet. An attempt to spell her name produced HELN but I suspect that's a misremembering of the sequence rather than any attempt at phonetic construction. (She can remember three letter sequences at least in the short-term, recreating SAD with bath letters, while saying "sad", several times after I attempted to replace it with different words.)

Update (at two years and one day): the first full SVO construction that I've noticed: "Daddy press button" after I microwaved some porridge for her.

1 Comment »

  1. Life is so much more interesting with verbal communication.
    Singing is good too and can be done in any language or nonsense rhymes.
    They have found that stroke and brain damaged people who haven't spoken for years can remember and sing old favourites.

    Comment by vera — January 2015

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