Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/609

This page has been validated.
591
AN INFANT'S PROGRESS IN LANGUAGE.

would have been gained by it. The subsequent notes must be taken as being rather selections than a full record.

 

Eighteen to nineteen months. "Poor" (should perhaps have been set down earlier): no appreciable difference from ordinary adult pronunciation. Dam (gum), a word of large significance; see next paragraph.

 

"Poor" was taught as an expression of pity, but extended to mean any kind of loss, damage, or imperfection in an object, real or supposed. Some of her reasons for assuming imperfection were curious. She said "poor" to the mustard pot and spoon, taking, as we suppose, the movable spoon for a broken part. "Gum," on the other hand, with which toys are often mended, is conceived as a universal remedy for things broken or disabled. Later (at twenty-two and a half months) she says "poor" to a crooked pin, and on my beginning to straighten it, "dada mend."

The sound of g is now coming, and a final nasal is developed. "Down" is pretty well pronounced. Ding dinner not the meal or meal-time, but a toy dinner-service.

Bé bé biscuit, with desiderative-imperative tone and meaning.

 

Nineteen months. O sound now distinctly made, and g distinct by the end of the month. "Guy" is now instead of dá. A final l once or twice observed: t'âl shawl. Final t distinctly made: hat or hot (hot). Soon afterward p (in "top," pronounced tap or töp); pu foot; after mastering final t she said fat. The monosyllabic form (one consonant and one vowel) still prevails. K is a favorite sound, and she has several words formed with it, which are carefully kept distinct. Ku stool. Kah (later kad)= cod [liver oil], which she considers a treat. Ko= "cozy" (on teapot); later ka-zi or ka-zhi. cold. Ká ká chocolate. Khi-en or kli-en clean; her first real dissyllable, for so she pronounced it. for biscuit has now become bek. Sh'ad (thread). She has now observed the process of sewing, and tries to imitate it. Things broken, etc., are now divided into those which are to be mended with dam and those which are to be mended with sh'ad. Approach to chu (sugar) and shu (shoe, also sugar) sometimes quite distinct. I also note "jar" as well said, but s, sh, ch, j, are on the whole indistinct, and attempts to form them give curious palatal and sibilant sounds which I cannot write down. W, v, f, are now formed, but not well distinguished. Vák or wák walk, fák fork. Here also we get intermediate sounds. The w is often more German than English, though she cannot have heard the German w spoken.

The fork is a toy fork in the set of things generally called ding or din. But fák has another unexpected meaning. The child likes to look at an old illustrated edition of Dr. Watts's poems, and she has