Saturday, October 4, 2008

a new meaning for "dundee"

I'm not exactly sure when this started, but sometime in the last week, dundee has acquired a new meaning. It still often means "give me that", but it's now the word that J uses when he doesn't know what to call something. He also uses it as if it means "I don't know" when I ask him a question and he's unsure of how to respond.

I may just be an ever-doting mama, but this is really fascinating to me. Maybe every child has their own dundee. I don't know. It makes me wish I knew more about language development and linguistics. I took a couple of classes in college towards my Sociology minor that touched on these topics and I was intrigued then as well. (At least, until I learned that area of study also involved a LOT of statistics classes.)

In my career at the library, much attention has been paid to language development, vocabulary, and literacy in children as encouraging children's progress toward these milestones is one of the primary goals of storytime. I remember reading articles about how babies who are just weeks old will show preference to someone speaking in their native language as opposed to a foreign one. How astounding!

While on the subject of language and words, I want to take note of some of the impressive words and ideas J has mastered in the last week or two:

  • In his ever-observant way, he astutely commented "big tree fall down" while we were walking by remnants of the wind storm. I think this may have been his first sentence!
  • He completely shocked us by telling us that a cricket says "chirp chirp". (I've no clue how that seeped in--we've not even read The Very Quiet Cricket yet!)
  • Phrases: he'll overhear us use one and immediately attempt it and tuck it away for later use; for example, "on the way", "all the time", "good girl Maggie", "oh my", "all better", "hold on tight".

In a nutshell, I suppose I should just say that J attempts to say whatever he hears. And I do mean WHATEVER he hears. Today while we picnicked outside of the library, he slyly said "stoo-pee bee" while Daddy swatted at the air muttering "stupid bee".

1 comment:

casey said...

That J sounds like a chip off the old block.