This 70th and final collection of students’ pearls of wisdom, laboriously digitised from hand-
A child aged 1;4 is watching his father eat grapes. The child says:
Daddy bbbb grape.
In this utterance, ‘bbbb’ represents the child’s smacking his lips together.
Given that ‘bbbb’ is not a word, nor does it correspond to any identifiable linguistic unit of the language used by the child, explain whether this utterance can in any way be relevant for language acquisition.
(Data adapted from Cruz-Ferreira, M. (2006). Three is a Crowd? Acquiring Portuguese in a Trilingual Environment. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.)
It can be pustulated that the child has clearly acquired the notion of eating.
The child uses logic (lip smacking) to explain the situation. This data shows that language acquisition is innate, the child has the ability to conjure up meaningful units to show his understanding of the situation.
The child uses prosodic features by smacking his lips to help place the invented word in context. But syntax is before morphology, because he uses ‘bbbb’ without the inflectional affix -s.
There is semantic shift in the meaning of the ‘bbb’ sound.
The child is able to differentiate an action done by an agent to an object or object to agent.
Such invented words are products of eclipsing which is common in child syntax.
The data proves it is patently useless for a child to acquire language that is perfectly grammatical.
The word is a verb that daddy is performing on the grapes. The child has not learnt to passify sentences.
The child is of age 1 to 4. He might be able to replace ‘bbbb’ with maybe a ‘mum-
The child has produced a fricative VP.