Friday, November 27, 2009

Belated post on language acquisition

Well, as noted in my 18-month letter, Speck took her time with starting to talk, holding at some half-dozen words and signs for several months, and then adding just about that many more for the next few. But in mid-October (about 6 weeks after that last missive), everything changed. In a four-week period starting with our trip to Delaware, she added almost a hundred words, in addition to several numbers and about half of the alphabet!

It started slowly enough that we thought we could keep track on paper, but the second side already had twice as many words as the first side -- this included some words being used correctly when we couldn't remember the last time she might have heard them -- and by mid-November we had more or less given up on keeping track, as she started using some in conversation as soon as you offered them.

Anyway, for our own recall and for the interest of a few of our relatives, a little record here:
  • more (first mwa, then moi, then gradually mo, and now mor) -- this has been used as a request and as a statement, almost as soon as added
  • moo
  • blue (boo), followed quickly by pink (pi) and purple (pu, pur)
  • sack (esp. offered at the correct moment in Hippos Go Beserk)
  • socks (sah)
  • bump (in response to speed bumps) -- bup?
  • meow (meeew meeeew)
  • hi (after long absence) -- esp. between two toys
  • eek eek for a mouse
  • whee (clee) for being swung in the air
  • O (favorite letter), followed quickly by Q (coo), B, G, then P,E,I,A,C,D,S...
  • me (but often misapplied to Mom or Dad, as in response to "you want ME to do it?")
  • 8,9,10 (in order, in right place in a sequence)
  • kitty
  • choo choo
Then the headlong rush...

boot, strollertree, dirtsky (ky)
towel, tapeup, downleaves, rice
peanut butter (peeba)hand, forthome, hot
chalk, balleye, hugpast, flip
hotpop, kneewatch, read
on, offPooh, rainseeds (correctly)
hat, slidemoon, yessbye-bye (from gee-gah)
bath, shoestool, seePasha (Pash)
cheese, turtledone, bagbowl, foot
hole, buttonpuzzle (puhh)pig, side
black, hoopwash, fullrun, stop
dark (doh)ride, eatgnaw
roll, foldfingers (a foog)clock (tla, clah)
no, coldjeans, turnJosh, Harry (hay)
bottle (bahbee)neigh, rock (vb.)away (way)
hang (hah), Flopet, flynaaah
circus (sirsah)banana (very unclear)#'s 1-10, except 7
sit, doorpile, wetear, nose, etc.

Still mostly single words but on 11/12 there were two distinct two-word phrases, one being "miss Tsah" (Tsah being the new name for Golden Bear) and the other being a prepositional phrase that I didn't write down in time (maybe "back up"). She also started saying "bye-bye" or just "bye" to people and things being left behind, although just as aggressively as she used to say "gee-gah" to get us out the door when planning fun at Gammy's, etc.... There's plenty more to say about games and personality emerging from all this language, but that's another post. For now, just wow!!

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