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November 9, 2011

Patterns in Language Acquisition

It’s so amazing to watch and listen as our little ones acquire language skills…going from gurgles and coos…to strings of consonants and vowels…and finally to first words.

In the beginning I wrote down each new sound the girls made, and then I kept a running list of new words as I heard them. At some point I realized I couldn’t keep up…the girls’ speech was progressing so fast!

I eventually moved to noting longer phrases, and then sentences. And these days, I note much more of the girls’ wit and humor.

In any case, their speech development is truly music to my ears.

Still, there are things they say that are like nails on a chalkboard.

Some mispronunciations are cute to me…like “breftast” for “breakfast”…and Baby A has the cutest way of saying, “I fink so,” instead of “I think so”…and I am already missing the girls saying “norsey” for "horse".

It’s the improper past tense formations that threaten to drive me nuts. The worst? “We goed,” instead of “We went.”

And there’s one particular possessive, “mines” instead of “mine” that sends shivers up my spine.

I’ve read that such indiscretions are actually a good thing. They show that children are thinking about the language patterns. As most past tenses are formed by adding “-ed”, for example, saying “goed” shows that children are actively processing what they hear.

Mines”? My guess is that goes back to “hers”.

So I’ll do my best to shake the shivers, knowing this is a normal part of language acquisition.

And in the meantime, I’ll continue to laugh at some of the girls’ funnies…lately the addition of “-er” to form nouns.

Good job, Sissy! You’re a good jobber!

I’m proud of you for playing so well today!” “Yes, I’m a good player!

And…just last night…Baby B was pretending to use a screwdriver (holding a plastic bowl and turning it over a stack of books???). “Look at my screwer, Mommy!

7 comments:

Johanna said...

I love those cute little 'mistakes'! I've noticed mine don't make as many as they used to. :(

Christina said...

Awww, that is sweet!!! :) I remember those days...although we still have little mishaps here and there! :)

Eric, Marilyn, and Elliott said...

I am fascinated by the "mistakes" that Elliott makes. It tells you so much about the way the brain wires itself. You know they're not sitting around thinking, "Well, I add -ed to the end of other words to make past tense so I'll say 'goed!' " Their brain has just subconsciously made that leap. You should read Steven Pinker's book The Language Instinct. In all your free time. :)

championm2000 said...

The linguist in me has to agree that it's all part of the process.

The mommy in me says right it all down. They'll outgrow it soon enough!

Helene said...

I totally miss the words that my kids used to say...and I can relate to how certain words or phrases they use can drive you up a wall!

I love that last paragraph!!! Look at my screwer...that's classic!

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Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

I love these little mispronunciations!

Hailey is currently struggling with his/her and he/she. It's adorable.