bookmark_borderFirst word: “Where are you?”

Playing Mummy
Originally uploaded by PhylB

Those of you who have been reading this blog for two years or more might be wondering why I’ve been writing so little about Amaia’s language – after all, when Anna was one, I regularly wrote blog postings describing how her language was developing.

The reason for this is that Amaia seems to use almost no words. Instead, she uses complete sentences, such as “Where are you?”, “Where did you put it?”, “What’s that for?”, “What are you doing?”. Yes, they’re not that clear – it sounds at bit like a drunk person speaking – but in context it’s normally clear what she means.

It’s basically as if she isn’t picking out individual words from what we’re saying but instead hearing the sentences as indivisible chunks to be repeated.

This is slightly exaggerated – she does use names, such as “Far” and “Pudge” – but she doesn’t seem to have any words for concrete objects.

Anna and Léon tended to overgeneralise certain nouns, just like all other babies I’ve ever come across.. For instance, Anna called all walking animals ‘ka’ (from ‘cat’) and all flying ones ‘pippi’ (from Danish pip-pip ‘tweet-tweet’).

So what’s going on? Is Amaia following a well-known (but less common) route to developing her language skills? A bit like the way she’s refusing to crawl and walk and instead bum-shuffles around at a hundred miles an hour.