Monday, March 9, 2009


Last night I dreamed that NS, only 14 months old, flabbergasted us all by uttering a complete sentence.

I was elated, yet slightly disappointed that her first sentence was in English, not Spanish.

In reality, her vocabulary has been lurching ahead. Recent additions include "papa," "ball" (first object word), "bye-bye," and "amen." That brings the grand total to approximately seven (plus "woof," "moo," and "boo").

NS' communication is much enhanced by her ten-or-more hand signs. Lately she's been using two signs together, as in "water, please" or "milk, finished." "Help" is a high-frequency sign, used both to request help and to express a desire to help (i.e. stand on a chair and get her fingers in the batter, dishwater, etc.). She's started signing "music" (i.e. "sing a song!") during diaper changes, in the car, and when reading books.

I'm delving into Bill Bryson's The Mother Tongue: English & How It Got That Way--a delightful foray into the curiosities of linguistics that leaves me amazed and amused. Language--its creation, its evolution--is as strange and marvelous as nature itself.

No less wonderful is the fact that it all begins in the brains of little babes.

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