Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/607

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AN INFANT'S PROGRESS IN LANGUAGE.

but studied from the real sounds; for as made by the child they are decidedly nearer to the real sounds than the baa baa, etc., used by adult voices.

"Baby" (or rather bé bi). This word was now formed with fair success, but soon dropped for a time. About a month afterward it was resumed, and became the child's name for herself. This was long before she attempted any other dissyllable. It was pronounced, however, rather as a reduplicated monosyllable.

 

Sixteen months. (ball), sometimes ba. (1, thanks; 2, take, when offering something): this was deliberately taught her.

Playing with a ball became a favorite amusement at this time. She would throw a ball out of the window and expect it to be returned. When we tried a regular game of ball she seemed to think the point of the game was to get possession of the ball and keep it. A certain capacity for dramatic play was now first observed. The child knew the various animals in a toy menagerie by name, and would make believe to feed them with a spoon. About a month later she was taught a piece of rudimentary drama. The picture of the "little boy that cries in the lane" and gets no wool had fixed her attention in a book of nursery-rhymes, by this time constantly in hand, and now, on being asked, "What does the little boy that cries in the lane do?" she puts up her hands to her eyes and whimpers. She laughs afterward, which I think is fair evidence that she understands the performance and considers it a good joke.

 

Seventeen months. Ni (knee). This is a real word, used in a special and at the same time extended meaning. It signifies, Take me on your knee and show me pictures; and also expresses in a general way the idea of something (generally the cat) being on a person's lap, so that not unfrequently means, I want to see the cat on your lap. She also puts a toy dog on her knee and repeats several times with great satisfaction. About this time "baby" came to be freely used as an imperative or desiderative, combined with movements or gestures indicating an object—the sense being, I want that.

 

Seventeen to eighteen months. Má má, mother. I have no note of when this word began to be used (probably it was some months before this), but it was well established by this time at latest.

Ná ni or ñá ni (granny).

Pi (please). On learning to say "please" in this fashion the child left off putting her hands together to ask for things, which she had been taught to do before she could speak.

Pé pé, pencil (only once heard).

Pá pá. This was taught her as a synonym for dá dá, but she would not use it. Both "paper" and "pepper" (as common objects