Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/611

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AN INFANT'S PROGRESS IN LANGUAGE.

out to us, and with triumphant affirmation, "Clean!" (Kle’n). Here we have not merely vocal signs, but intercourse by speech—one may say an elementary form of repartee and argument. She can now say "yes" (es, or is, sometimes as) and "no" in answer to questions with fair intelligence, though she sometimes answers at random, and sometimes gives the wrong answer on purpose for a joke. One of her new words is fa-ni (funny), which she uses in a wider sense than adults, for anything that pleases and surprises her. The imitative name for the cat is dropped, and she now says (for "pussy") pü-si (ü as in South-German, coming very near to i). "Funny" is also used to disguise fear, e. g., on being introduced to a strange dog. When left to play alone she talks to herself constantly. The staple of one of these monologues (March 10th) was á-diá (formed on "O dear"). I half suspect a dramatic intention in her proceedings.

The peculiar short sound of English a (represented by æ in Mr. Ellis's general notation) is now forming. She can say "bag" nearly like an adult. But, as a rule, she still substitutes (Indian) a or á, saying, e. g., "cub," or "kahb," for "cab."

 

Twenty-one months. Progress is now less marked and rapid. New words continue to be acquired, but the power of putting them together does not seem to increase much. The child is, however, now more or less able to answer direct as distinguished from leading questions. Thus, when she had been paying a visit to some relations and cried to go home, she gave afterward (March 17th) a pretty connected account of it in monosyllabic answers. Q. What did you do to-day at——? A. Klai ("cry"). Q. And what did you cry for? A. Ham ("home," i. e., I cried to go home). Also, when told not to handle a forbidden object, such as a knife, she will say, in a tone of intelligent acquiescence: No—dá dá (i. e., I may not have that, but dá dá may). One trisyllable is in common use: Tenisi Tennyson, an illustrated edition, which divides her attention with Vats (Watts).

As to sounds, r is generally replaced by l or ll, or (approximately) hl: hlan or llan "run." The prosthetic initial sound for words beginning with vowels is now zh, or an aspirated y.

She begins, too, to put now and then a substantive and adjective together: "clever baby," "happy man" (in picture); the meaning of which she now seems to understand well enough.

 

Twenty-one and a half months. There is now a distinct advance in constructive power. Substantives and adjectives are freely put together (e. g., "dirty boots"), and I have noted one instance of the use of a real predicate, so as to form a complete proposition. The child had been told, half in joke, that cabs were dirty as compared with her perambulator. For some days she had been accustomed to say "dirty" on the mention of cab, "clean" on the mention of perambulator. Now