One Child’s Language: at 22 months

For several weeks, durai (dry) was Rachel’s antonym for we’, diti, ‘ow (wet, dirty, ouch). She would talk about dirty and dry hands, or ouch (sore) and dry knees. Lately, she has started to use deen (clean) sometimes. Di and dido (big, little) sometimes occur instead of her old favorites wow, wee. She is beginning to use location words hia, dea, roro dea (here, there, over there), and when she bruises herself, she lets us know where to kiss by pointing and saying rai dea (right there), usually several times. Just today she started tagging otay?, dat rait? onto sentences to make them questions.

She does constant pattern drills, making the same sentence using Rachel one time, Mama the next, and Daddy the next—a standard substitution drill. She does endless repetition drills. We don’t drill her, she drills herself. She also does expansion drills: we say “Let’s brush our teeth” and she says Daydo dah Daydo dee’, Daddy dah Daddy dee’, Mama dah Mama dee’. If we tell her we’re going home, she’ll expand it to dodi Daydo ‘ous, Mama ‘ous, Daddy ‘ous (going to Rachel’s house, Mama’s house, Daddy’s house). And then, of course, she also does negation drills: we say “Not that!” and she says yes, dat; we say “Rachel drink water?” and she says Not Daydo dwin’ wawa; we say “Don’t throw your noodles” and she says yes, dwow noonoh. She never uses yes to answer simple questions, only to contradict a no. She’s definitely showing signs of nearing the Twos.

UPDATE: This child is now a 24-year-old teacher in the Boston Public Schools.

1 Comment

Filed under education, family, language

One response to “One Child’s Language: at 22 months

  1. Pingback: One Child’s Language: Compilation « Far Outliers

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