After ‘mama,’ the children’s first words include ‘this’ and ‘that’.

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Among languages ​​and cultures, words that help caregivers focus on early childhood learn and use often, according to a new Cornell study that is the most important, in for example, the development of the first words in a native language. To say.

The first use of words like “this” and “that” was written in common languages ​​such as English, Spanish and Mandarin, which were simple systems for presenters, said Amalia. Skilton, is a linguist and Klarman Fellow in the College of Economics and Science (A&S).

Skilton found similar patterns among 45 Ticuna speakers in Peru, showing that children’s strong desire to share the same effect on language learning – more first words – even though different languages ​​mean and are spoken in different ways.

“Children learn the visuals that call on others to‘ look at things – like this / that and here / there ’ – at a young age, when they have little or no visual cues. other words, ”Skilton said. “This’ and ‘here’ will be expressed as first stereotypical words such as’ light. ‘”

Demonstratives play a “starring role” in language development, Skilton writes in “Learning Speaker- and Addressee-Centered Demonstratives in Ticuna,” published April 7 in Children’s language newspaper. It’s one of the most important tools for guiding what linguists call the collective idea, which allows us to label things with names, organize our work and combine them.

“Giving thought is the system for the rest of the language and communication,” says Skilton.

There are only two original forms of English (“this” and “that”) but some as many as ten. Ticuna, which is said to have 69,000 indigenous people living on the Amazon / Solimes River in Peru, Colombia and Brazil, features six exhibitors, four of which have been studied based on their common use.

Over a year in Cushillococha, Peru, a community of about 5,000 that relies on agriculture, Skilton has engaged children from ages 1 to 4 to play and socialize with caretakers of their homes. He analyzed the Ticuna language development captured in about 15 hours of video samples.

Despite their small words, 12 of the 14 -year -olds seen in the study said “this / that” or “here / there,” indicating global travel. sharing the same look. Skilton said the research confirms that caregivers can expect children to start using those words at about 12 to 18 months “regardless of the language they speak.”

But the kind of visual cues used show that even though young children want to share an idea, they have a hard time understanding someone else’s point of view. The Ticuna children learned “egocentric” demonstratives – such as “this / here near me” – about two years earlier than “interactive” demonstratives such as “that / here near you, “Skilton knew. And they used those egocentric words more often than the buckets, making up more than 15% of all the words spoken.

It is known that children have difficulty understanding the thoughts or ideas of others. Skilton said his research combines the knowledge that young children struggle with the understanding that other people can see things in the air. He believed that it was a matter of developing the heart, not learning a language.

Therefore, Skilton said, parents and other caregivers need not worry if children under the age of 3 misuse related words.

“While parents think these words are simple,” Skilton says, “they find it difficult for children to understand at an early age and the problem with them is a normal part of growing up. the child. “

Skilton plans to return to Peru to continue his research, which is the first full -scale study of the development of collective thinking in a non -western way, turning his attention to the use of children in instructions to direct the parents’ thoughts. He is also working on his three -year Klarman meeting with principal Sarah Murray, a consultant in the Department of Linguistics (A&S).


The new study of parental language is designed to help children learn new words.


More information:
Amalia Skilton, teaching speaker- and presenter based in Ticuna, Children’s language newspaper (2022). DOI: 10.1017 / S0305000922000101

Presented by Cornell University

Directions: After ‘mama,’ in the children’s first words ‘this’ and ‘that’ (2022, April 7) retrieved April 8, 2022 from https://phys.org /news/2022-04-mama-children-words.html

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