This excerpt is taken from the publication “ The Language Instinct” (1994), written by Steven Pinker, director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT.

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It is said in the text that all infants come into the world with linguistic abilities. It is known due to the ingenious experimental technique in which a baby is presented with one signal over and over to the point of boredom, and then the signal changes. If the baby perks up, he or she can tell what is different. When babies hear the syllables “ba ba..”, they get bored. However, when they hear the syllables “ pa pa..” , they are nore willing to listen more syllables. Infants have these abilities. Kikuyu and Spanish infants know what is the difference between English “ ba” and and “pa”, which are not used in Kikuyu or Spanish.

Infants may come to the world with some knowledge of their mother languages. It is said that four-day-old French babies suck harder to hear French than Russian on the tape.

A new-born has a vocal tract which is not similar to any human mammal. So during the first year, babies also improve their speech production. Between five and seven months, babies begin to play with sounds instead of expressing themselves. Between seven and eight months, they suddenly begin to produce syllables like ba-ba-ba-..; neb-neb-neb.. and dee-dee- dee-…By the end of first year, babies vary their syllables like neb-nee, da-dee and meb-neb.

Babbling is so important because babies write their instructions manual; they learn how much to move their muscles. Shortly before their first birthday, babies starts to understand words and produce them. All over the world, the first words that the infants produce seem similar: food, body parts, clothing, vehicles, toys, household items, animals, and people. There are also words for actions, motions, and routines. Between the late twos and mid-threes, children’s language become grammatical. By the threes, children use function words more often than they omit them.

Probably, the most common childhood error is to overgeneralize. The child puts a regular suffix to an irregular words. They say “mouses” instead of “mice” and “finded” instead of “found”. Also children apply causative rule. They say “Go me” instead of take me.

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