Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Babies Can Learn Words as Early as 10 Months 152

Posted by samzenpus
from the babytalk dept.
linguizic writes "According to Scientific American Online: '10 month olds can learn to associate words with objects in their environment when given interesting enough stimuli. A two-year-old can quickly link an object--whether a flashy rattle or a boring latch--to a word. Even a one-year-old can follow a parent's gaze to an object and match it with a word being spoken. But although anecdotal evidence seems to show that babies younger than one year can learn words, it remains unclear whether they are in fact mastering language. Now a new study reveals that 10-month-old infants can link words and objects, but only if the object is already interesting to them.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Babies Can Learn Words as Early as 10 Months

Comments Filter:
  • But although anecdotal evidence seems to show that babies younger than one year can learn words, it remains unclear whether they are in fact mastering language.
    Last time I spoke with a 10 month old, it became clear to me that sub one-year olds have yet to master language. OR, they have mastered some language concepts, but have yet to develop a worthwhile attention span to convey this mastery.
    -C
    • by CRCulver (715279)
      Well, sometimes even we Slashdotters don't have enough attention sp--- Oooh, shiny thing! *NO CARRIER*
    • Master? no. Be good enough to convey needs more than simply screaming? yes.
      Both my kids started off quick, my son is the slower of the two and at 11 months he can say 6 words clearly enough that non close family members can understand what he said:
      Mama, dada, baba, ihih (can't quite get the soft pallet to work enough to say sis sis), nana, and neigh neigh (the last being what he calls my wife's breasts, quite funny really).
      -nB
    • My 12 mo. baby can say Mama, Baba, and Mmmm (food). All other conversation is carried on by giggles or wailing.
      • My 11 month old will say "yes" if you ask if she's hungry and she is.

        If she's just eaten and you ask her if she's hungry, she doesn't say yes. If you offer her more food, she'll say "no" sometimes - not reliably - and shake her head and fend off the spoon, again not reliably.

        I'd say she's mastered half of the binary number system, so she's on her way. :)
      • Sounds like my boss. Does yours get a smelly diaper too?
      • By the time my niece was 1.5 years old, she ould speak in sentences (simple sentences), and she could translate stuff like:

        Us: Do you want...
        her: I want...

        She was also walking too. We though she'd walk before she crawled because she kept on standing up. My neice is very smart considering she is only 2.5 years old! You can carry on a conversation with her, and her attention span will stay with you...if she is interested. She's very interested in things around her. She deffinately u
    • Well the article title does say "learning words," so this would be more along the lines of learning to pronounce (in an understandable manner) a word and/or possibly associate that word with a particular object, action, etc.

      Moreover, young children like to repeat the things they hear, so even at this young age you should probably put 'em in another room next time you have to devirus a $#@)($*! computer in your office :-)
      • You should probably dye your hair bright red colors and be really interesting? :) I'll keep it in mind if I ever have another one. I don't think my daughter said anything for 14 months that was more than normal cooing, crying, and depriving us of lots of sleep. Her first word was: "Kitty!". My sisters kid is 8 months old and says "Hi!". So I don't doubt that some kids are quite capable of speaking very early. It probably helped that when her dad sees her, or anyone for that matter, the first word they s
    • If you think babies can't learn language before 1, you should check out Baby Signs [babysigns.com]. Babies can learn simple sign language as early as 8 months. Just because they don't have the necessary muscle control to speak, doesn't mean they don't understand language.
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:13AM (#14980342) Journal

    From the Slashdot: .A two-year-old can quickly link an object.... Yeah, but at what age can a baby levarage development patterns? No baby is going to be much use until he (she) knows the difference between a Singleton and a Factory.

    • Yeah, but at what age can a baby levarage development patterns? No baby is going to be much use until he (she) knows the difference between a Singleton and a Factory.

      Well, if you'd buy him the Fisher Price Object Oriented Compiler with the accompanied Sponge Bob Square Pants development frameworks, he would learn about that. It's all the rage in India. Geeze! You're such a bad parent!

      • And I won't have him using that sissy baby "OO" stuff, either. He'll start where his old man did, on IBM/360 systems, writing assembler on punch-cards writing drivers for DASD systems.

        And he'll like it if he knows what's good for him.

    • How old are you? Just asking to get a lower bound on the age a human can levarage spelling ;)
  • Baby Sign Language (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dudeX (78272)
    Those who know about teaching young babies (6 mos and up) sign language already know that babies have a capacity to understand some grammar.
    At least it's nice to have study that shows this.

    The real study now is to develop an effective system for teaching babies communication.

    • You don't need to teach babies language, they will learn in on their own. That is one of the main points of Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct [amazon.com] . Children worldwide start talking at the same time whether adults try to teach them or not. Pinker does a little mocking of American mothers saying sacchrine things like "What is that? It's a doggie? A dog-gie!" as if their children needed their conscious help to learn, when in many cultures children's linguistic talents are just ignored by the adult community u
      • It's not to simply 'learn to talk' that people speak to their kids like that. It's a good idea to deconstruct words like that so that the kid begins to understand the logic of constructing different sounds, rather than treating a word as one sound.
        • by CRCulver (715279)
          Total nonsense. Read the book mentioned above. Linguists have long observed that babies' minds are already capable of doing all these operations of breaking down sound and processing individual elements. There's no need for a grown woman like their mother to act silly for no real reason, because her actions simply do not result in faster speech development or greater eloquence.
          • Obviously there's no need to 'act silly', but from observing my two kids (7 and 9 now) when spelling and reading, they still don't always understand how a word is formed because they've compiled it as one. Some words *do* need breaking down, some don't.
            • Yes, but you are dealing with children who are older and already in school, who are reading and writing (not speaking or listening, the real domain of linguistics), and who already have already acquired speech. That puts them in a different category than the infants of this article and in Pinker's book mentioned in my post.
          • by PFI_Optix (936301)
            Don't hinge your entire argument on a single book. I'd wager there's at least one book that directly contradicts it.

            I use slow pronunciation and make it a point to strongly enunciate sounds so that my son picks up the right way to say something and can more easily communicate with people outside the family earlier. It seems to be working; since I started doing that he's had much greater success telling other people what he wants.
            • The Language Instinct is a summary for laymen of research done by linguists over the last 50 years that overwhelmingly supports certain ideas about language acquisition and language change. So, even if there is another popular science book that refutes it (in this case Sampson's Educating Eve [amazon.com] , a shoddy work written by a crackpot and supporting a minority view), there are thousands of papers and monographs supporting the ideas in Pinker's book.

              Your son's learning to talk has nothing to do with your teach

              • I have news for you (Score:2, Informative)

                by GuloGulo (959533)
                Many linguists disagree with Pinker, and he is by no means in the majority with his suppositions.

                I've read your posts. You seem to have been convinced by a very good writer that he has the inside track on the truth.

                However, to give you some perspective, Noam Chomsky disagrees with him. He's not the only one.

                http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~mnkylab/publications/l anguagespeech/EvolLangFac_Cognition.pdf [harvard.edu]

                Pinker did the same thing to you that he does to so many others. He convinced you with flowery porse that disg
              • Your son's learning to talk has nothing to do with your teaching him [...]

                Don't be ridiculous. Of course the teaching has an influence -- you've gone on to say that the child's learning is based on his exposure to the language in his environment, and obviously the teaching forms a part of that environment.

                Unless, of course, you're thinking that parental influence magically won't count because of its insufficient academic rarification. "The naïve 'goo-goo' approach of the non-specialist (Foonly 78,

          • by ergo98 (9391)
            Total nonsense. Read the book mentioned above. Linguists have long observed that babies' minds are already capable of doing all these operations of breaking down sound and processing individual elements.

            There are countless early education experts who advocate deconstructing words, and individually naming objects to young children, but you've read one book from one author and now you're strongly refuting people who say otherwise. Amazing.

            There's no need for a grown woman like their mother to act silly for no
            • Oh for crying out loud...I really need to use the preview. Somehow I left a strong unclosed. Sorry for that.
            • There are countless early education experts who advocate deconstructing words, and individually naming objects to young children, but you've read one book from one author and now you're strongly refuting people who say otherwise. Amazing.

              I recommend Pinker to laymen, but I myself am a linguistics student who has read the wide variety of literature in the field supporting these arguments which Pinker summarises. Furthermore, "early education experts" are not linguists, so why should I care what they have

        • With both my daughter and my son I never tried something like 'baby speak'. I just talked to them like I would to every other people. My daughter was talking in whole sentences shortly after her first birthday, and my son was talking whole sentences way before his second birthday. I know that this is just anecdotal evidence, but at least using normal language didn't disturb completely their ability to learn language.
          • I do this with my son and always have. I speak to him as though he is an adult. I may not use big words with him, but I don't baby-talk him, either. I hate it when other people talk like that, especially when the purposefully mispronounce words that he has trouble saying correctly. Rather than reinforcing the correct way to say things, they continue to teach bad habits. His grandmother (my in-law) refuses to say "grandma" correctly -- it is "gammaw". What does this teach my son? answer -- to speak like a mo

      • by cagle_.25 (715952)
        You don't need to teach babies language, they will learn in on their own.

        Let's modify this statement slightly. "Babies will learn language on their own, so it's best to give them as much exposure as possible -- in other words, to interact with them regularly."

        Babies that (for whatever reason) are speech-delayed benefit greatly from being read to or talked to [nih.gov].

    • Capacity isn't the issue. We are all born with brains. What scientists are researching is to what extent can the development of communication skills be accelerated. We all know babies can learn a language or two just by observing and practically duplicating what they are hearing and seeing. The real matter at hand is how can we interact (read: train) with babies making them more conscious about their communication capability and thus help them develop that skill?
    • by Migraineman (632203) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:45AM (#14980621)
      We started Baby Sign with my daughter at about 6 months. My mother was offended, convinced that we were going to retard the child's lingual development. At about 10-months, we started to get coherent responses to queries. It started out with simple concepts like "eat" and "done." Once she realized that she could communicate with sign, the learning and communication grew exponentially. Her lingual skills were delayed slightly, but she went from no verbal communication to full-polysyllabic-sentences almost overnight. The transition was astounding, and her sign vocabulary was well over 150 signs (we couldn't keep up ...)

      Don't listen to the buttheads who claim children can't communicate before 12-16 months. Oh yes they can. Many tantrums are a result of frustration because the kid can't verbalize what he wants to communicate. Signing is a whole lot more practical than speaking for someone with limited motor skills.

      We've still maintaiined some signs, but not nearly to the level we used to have. It's a wonderful skill for communicating across distances - you don't need to shout across a large room to confirm that your kid is okay after tripping and falling. Also, I credit the early sign exposure for jump-starting my daughter's reading and writing abilities. She's five now, and can read books, can write her own stories (which look like something from Infocom,) and has an amazing vocabulary.
      • by Keebler71 (520908)
        I fully agree. We began with some baby signs at about six months but only a few critical words (milk, more, food, finished, etc...) Nothing happened at all for months, then one day he started signing. It was a huge relief because up until that point, he could be a very frustrated baby (usually around meals) and we never knew if he wanted more or if he was done. Once he started signing, his frustration greatly diminished. His speach was maybe a few months later than some of his friends, but then it expl
    • by Wokan (14062)
      I agree. My wife has been teaching out son sign language and he spoke a complete sentence before he was 8 months old. (It was "I want my mommy" while I was trying to feed him breakfast, much to my chagrin.) We normally ask him about a particular toy or person during playtime and most (80%+) of the time he does identify the correct item or person. (He has 3 siblings and 2 parents to pick from, so random looks would only make him right about 20% of the time.)

      And now I'll probably get modded down as some k
  • If anyone is interested in how infants learn language, I'd recommend Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct , which is an elegant presentation for laymen of the theories behind "universal grammar" and language change. I read it about a month ago and was blown away.
  • Not Surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:25AM (#14980433) Homepage Journal
    I don't find this surprising at all. My friend's daughter started learning sign language before 10 months. At her first birthday she constructed a novel and meaningful sentence in sign. She, apparently, was tired and overstimulated and started telling people to "Please bye-bye."

    Anyway, at or about 10 months she could request several of her favorite foods, and was pretty disciplined about saying please and thank you! She could also identify a helicopter by its sound and give her variation on the sign for helicopter.

    -Peter
    • That's nothing! My unborn son can tap out on his mothers womb in morse code the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy from rote in Elvish (both kinds!). Now he's learning semaphore!
    • I don't find this surprising at all. My friend's daughter started learning sign language before 10 months. At her first birthday she constructed a novel and meaningful sentence in sign. She, apparently, was tired and overstimulated and started telling people to "Please bye-bye."
      As I understand it, a lot of this is that the motor control required for basic sign is simpler than the finer motor control of vocalization and therefore the child can participate in language at a much earlier age. At one point Bab [wikipedia.org]
    • She could also identify a helicopter by its sound

      Now that's a talent. Rather like Calleigh Duquesne's ability to recognize firearms by sound.
    • My wife is a speech therapist so we started signing to our kids pretty early. The joke is that our oldest's first word (signed) was not "Mommy" or "Daddy" but "cheese". Sort of humbling ;-)
      • Sort of humbling

        Well, think of it this way-- your baby didn't NEED to say 'mommie' or 'daddy'-- the baby probably did something else that got your attention, and you picked him/her up-- this happens dozens of times a day.

        Cheese, on the other hand, is a special request. How many cheese sticks can your kid eat in a day, really? ;)
    • Most parents who teach sign language to their infants have seen these language skills at a very early age.

      I think many parents miss this development in their child, which is a little sad. It's amazing to watch-- babies have incredible brains.

      It's a little frustrating when researchers are a little slow to recognize this, or dismiss these observations simply as 'prideful parents'. Granted, many parents think their child is a superbaby, but I know parents (and researchers!) who were looking at this sort of stu
    • I don't find this surprising at all. My friend's daughter started learning sign language before 10 months.

      I'm curious about this ... are people doing this because of disabilities their babies have, or is this a new view of communicating with babies I've just never heard of. (The latter is highly likely, I neither have, nor want kids, so I don't know much about them.)

      Have people just discovered infants are far more capable of communication than we've thought? I know they've proven other primates can commu

  • by Otter (3800)
    This isn't a normally a source of valuable scientific information, but -- I was watching America's Funniest Home Videos a few nights ago, and they had a long series of videos of dogs "talking" like parrots.

    I'd had no idea dogs could be trained to do that but since a) they had seven or eight of them and b) all the owners were teaching them to say the same thing ("Love you Mama"), it must be something people commonly know. Does everyone know this? A Google search mostly turns up page after page of links to v

  • My son is 6 months old and he certainly understands 'mama', you say that and he looks around for her. Don't know if he understands 'dada' or 'father dear' yet....

    We think he also understands 'baba' or 'bottle', as you say that and he expects food......
    • I'm not sure if this is exactly WHY I had speech issues when I was younger, but I know that everybody that has been raised in my parents house has ended up with trouble speaking. My sister who is seven years still talks as if she was three. I'm not saying she uses "mama" for mom, but she has huge trouble with pronouncing words properly.

      Compooder is her version of Computer. She says water like "Wha Ter", because my mom tried to teach her it isn't waher. Three is free, etc.

      I assume it is caused from everybody
      • I've heard that too, and we really do try to talk 'adult' to the child as much as possible. Outside of 'mama' which isn't so bad, we really don't do it at all.... we say 'bottle' and he starts going 'babababababa' so 'baba' will also happen.....
  • my niece was seven months old when she spoke her first words. Her first word was "This" and it was my fault. She always would point at an object she wanted. I'd go over to the object and say "this?" so many toys and bottles became known as "this". Her second word was "no" because most of the objects she wanted were not age appropriate. She took her first steps in her tenth month - and was running around autonomously by her first birthday. In fact, she helped cut the cake and hand out pieces. "No" became a r
    • My son started talking at 6 months. By 8 months, he knew a few dozen words, and could use them. They were simple words, like "truck", "train", "ball", etc... By a year, he was making very basic sentences like "Hold me.", "Hi dada", etc.

      He's definately a smart kid, but I think what makes the most difference is that my wife stays home with him, and spends a lot of time reading to him, instead of sending him off to daycare every day. Now he's 3 and a half, and we can't shut him up.
      • He's definately a smart kid, but I think what makes the most difference is that my wife stays home with him, and spends a lot of time reading to him, instead of sending him off to daycare every day. Now he's 3 and a half, and we can't shut him up.

        Mine is just the opposite. When my wife stayed home with him, he didn't talk much. When she went back to work and we put him in day care, he came home chattering the first day. Being around a group of kids slightly older than him every day has been very good for hi
    • Her second word was "no" because most of the objects she wanted were not age appropriate .... "No" became a real problem because she got to the point where she would unbuckle herself from the stroller and take off. Pigtails flying, we'd yell, "Come back!". She'd yell, "NO!!!!"
      No is a particularly favorite word for kids around that age. Basically, realizing that they can say "no" is an important step in self-identity. They realize that while your parents may believe one thing, they can believe another. ^_^
    • Her first word was "This" and it was my fault. She always would point at an object she wanted.

      My son learnt to say "Truck" when he was about a year old. Unfortunately his T sounded more like an F.

      Well before then he knew how to ask for yoghurt (go-go!) and later pineapple pizza (apple pie!)

  • No surprise there... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918@gmail.HORSEcom minus herbivore> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:29AM (#14980462)
    William Sidis [wikipedia.org] could read at 18 months, and taught himself Latin at 3, Greek at 4, and had written a treatise on anatomy at 5. He had written 4 books and knew 8 languages by age 8, and when he entered Harvard at 11, he was lecturing auditoriums of mathematicians.

    But surely it's better to watch Barney, Sesame Street, and Blue's Clues until you're at least 14, so as to grow up to become a well-rounded American.
    • I don't think a prodigy and one of the brightest minds of the century is a good example of a typical child.
      • "I don't think a prodigy and one of the brightest minds of the century is a good example of a typical child."

        Yes, but is that more the fault of the parents of the prodigy or the parents of the typical child?
    • by jheath314 (916607) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @11:19AM (#14980908)
      A bit off topic, but it's sort of sad to read where Sidis went from there...

      His academic career flamed out early, mostly due to his inability to cope with other people (students, administrators, etc.) who didn't match his stellar IQ. In an age when theories like quantum mechanics and relativity were turning the world upside down, he contributed surprisingly little of substance to any field of intellectual endeavor. Instead he withdrew into himself, becoming neurotically obsessed with, of all things, streetcar transfers. While unquestionably intelligent, his tremendous gifts were mostly wasted.

      When I was in university, I noticed that there were two types of students who did well: those who were very smart, and those who were not so bright, but worked very hard. While I often envied the first group, I always respected the second group more. When it comes to life outside the university, I'm willing to bet that, as a whole, the hard workers will end up doing better than the naturally gifted ones.
      • by SeanDuggan (732224) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @01:01PM (#14981700) Homepage Journal
        When I was in university, I noticed that there were two types of students who did well: those who were very smart, and those who were not so bright, but worked very hard. While I often envied the first group, I always respected the second group more. When it comes to life outside the university, I'm willing to bet that, as a whole, the hard workers will end up doing better than the naturally gifted ones.
        The naturally gifted people can have a harder time making the transition than the hard workers, but it's not unsurmountable. Mainly, I've noticed that the gifted often have trouble figuring out what they want to do. (When my brother took the ACTs, he scored 33-35 on every section and the area where it recommended areas of study translated those even results to "You have no particular talent in any area.") Often, they're the ones who spend years in an undeclared major, or switch frequently. Or, more sadly, they lock themselves in for four years of a degree, then realize it wasn't what they wanted.

        The other big problem for gifted people is adjusting to difficulty. You can see this some with bright kids who go to college, realizing that they've gone from being the big fish in a small pond to being a midsize fish in an even bigger pond. And then, there are some who still breeze through college without effort. When they're confronted with a situation which requires them to buckle down, they may not find they have the skills for it whether it's holding down their job or maintaining a marriage.

        My feeling is that what's important for bright kids, at any level, is to keep learning no matter how hard the teachers work to prevent it, and to never settle for just coasting by when you know you can do better.

        • "Or, more sadly, they lock themselves in for four years of a degree, then realize it wasn't what they wanted."

          Alright, you've identified my situation exactly. Now, what the hell do I do about it?!
          • Alright, you've identified my situation exactly. Now, what the hell do I do about it?!
            Honestly, I don't really know. I know some people who slogged their way through a few years of a job in their field so as to pay off college loan debt and raise enough capital to make another try at school. My brother took the route of moonlighting in a job that he does enjoy (bartending). I do wish you the best of luck though.
  • by Templar (14386)
    My 10-month-old has a few words (or at least sounds), such as Ma for Mommy, Da for Daddy, and Baby when she sees herself in the mirror. (Yes, 2 syllables.)

    What I really need, though, is a way to get my 4-year-old to *stop* using words. Like when I saw her playing with a toy at the dinner table.

    Me: "Hey! What are you doing!?" Her: "I'm eating my damn dinner!"

    Yeah, she learned that from me too.
    • by M-G (44998)
      Same here. We've have 'na' down for months which means 'no' plus dada for me, and just da for dog. These are consistent sounds, so there's definitely an association in her mind.
  • It was a real surprise for me and my wife when at around 3 month old, my first son said his name! It was a only time, have to be there time. But he actually really said it's name with me and my wife has direct witness ! And not the less it's name are phonetically a little hard to prononce : Raphael !
    • I'm not suprised.. when our second daughter was about.. 4-6 months old (don't specifically remember) she could say Mama, Dada, her sister's name, and would point when asked "where is" that person. She also would have "conversations" i.e. I'd say her name, she'd reply "daddy" she wasn't mimicing, she was playing and responding. Her sister was an early talker too.. at 2 years old, she started daycare, and the teachers were floord at how clearly she spoke. Kids are smarter than most people give credit for,
  • by PFI_Optix (936301) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:42AM (#14980582) Journal
    Seriously, do these people have kids themselves?

    My son is 18 months. He's got a vocabulary somewhere around 50 words and strings together short sentences. "I got out" was the first sentence we heard him say, maybe two months ago.

    At 10 months, he had actually named his two favorite toys (Gah and Meh) and would look up if you said "light". If you said "tractor" he would want to go outside, because that's where the tractor is at his grandfather's house. He wasn't talking then (he barely is now) but it was clear that he understood words.
  • According to numerous accounts I was speaking many words at 10 months, and complete sentences at 12. I also knew most of my alphabet by two years, and could "read" from the newspaper (sounding words out) at 4.

    Of course, the "interestingness" qualification mentioned above was clearly in effect, as my first word was (I shit you not) "titty."

    What can I say...some things in your life stick with you.
  • Sign language (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RyoShin (610051) <tukaro@gPLANCKmail.com minus physicist> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:49AM (#14980661) Homepage Journal
    My mother is a doula (works with women in more of a supportive mental sense than a medical sense during pregancy, childbirth, and afterwards) who is doing a class on sign language for mothers to be or recent mothers.

    According to her (with about 15 years of experience under her belt as a doula, and "speaks" fluent sign language), babies can learn basic sign language before they can talk, and that teaching them sign language will enhance their mental capabilities (speak earlier, read earlier, higher IQ). She's listed off studies to back this, though I've never checked into them myself.

    However, I don't doubt it. After all, we can teach monkeys to communicate via sign language. While certainly not dumb animals, they don't have the mental capabilities of humans (do monkeys have soap operas? There you go), so it shouldn't come as a surprise that we can teach humans sign language at an early age.
    • monkeys . . . don't have the mental capabilities of humans (do monkeys have soap operas? There you go)

      I would consider that a sign that monkeys are more intelligent than humans.

    • do monkeys have soap operas?


      I guess that means monkeys are more intelligent than humans?
    • This is absolutely true.

      My two boys have watched Signing Time [signingtime.com], a series of Sign-Language videos for children, since they were six months old. They pick it up faster than you'd think, and the benefit is enormous. Having your eight month old crawl up to you and sign "Sleep" when they're ready for bed, or "Milk" when they're hungry is incredibly useful.
    • My wife (who works w/ developmentally disabled people) tells me that signing can actually degrade verbal skills because it reduces the need to speak. I don't know about that personally but it makes sense in theory.
      • When sign language is used the majority of time versus speaking, that would make sense.

        However, here sign language would be used in conjunction with words (most likely,) so the babies would pick up the sign language first and associate the words later; eventually, you'd switch over to speaking entirely, except when quiet is needed, and then you might switch to short sign language phrases.

        Kind of like a person who walks crawls for a bit; you just crawl for a bit and you still walk just as well. I imagine if
    • Our daughter has been signing since before she was 12 months old. We have not really taught her much. She knows eat, drink, milk, more, and cookie. (You would be amazed how fast they pick up a sign, for something they REALLY like... like cookie) :-) We have a couple of baby sign type DVDs... but don't use them often. Probably should. She also says several words, now... though, she has not really put words to the signs yet.
  • No kidding (Score:3, Informative)

    by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy.tpno-co@org> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:49AM (#14980662) Homepage
    As a parent myself, I know my little one knew what I was telling her before she was a year old. She was an early walker, so after I would change her, I would give her the wrapped up diaper and tell her to throw it away.

    A complex sentance, loaded with stuff she'd have to figure out on her own, and she did just fine.

    So, from the parents of the world, let me just say, "no shit".

  • I imagine that this report was done by a male scientist who spends all his day in the lab, meanwhile his wife is at home spending all day with the children.

    He comes home at 7pm one evening: "Darling I've made a wonderful discovery! Babies can learn words as young as ten months! Isn't that wonderful!" His wife looks at him distainfully and says: "Your son said his first word at eight months." ... "Did he? Oh!"

    As a father of two I don't find this surprising at all. In fact, if these scientists has just bother
    • Yeah, I expect that 'Psychologist Kathy Hirsh-Pasek of Temple University' is definitely a male scientist :)

      You are right, though; reading TFA is bad form and could lead us all into terrible habits. If we start getting all hung up on details, anything could happen...
    • I think the difference is that it's now scientifically established. There are lots of "obvious" things that people "know" that turn out not to be so obvious when placed under rigorous examination.
  • by metoc (224422) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:56AM (#14980723)
    I grew up in a medium sized family with lots of brothers, a sister, cousins, nieces and nephews so dealing with kids is normal. Unfortunately as an adult I am always amazed at how clueless many of my peers are when it comes to being parents. I have co-workers who have no idea that most children talk early if their parents encourage them to communicate, or learn to crawl earlier if you play tug-of-war, or walk if you support them by letting them hold you fingers. Watching my 12 month olds outclass 18 months olds is priceless. Its not the kids who are behind, it is the parents.
    • I agree, you only get out what you put in when it comes to kids. Of course, that goes for everything else as well. Our 1 year old daughter has been identifying things since 6 months old. She knows what the ceiling fan is, the sounds of airplanes, the moon, etc... She's been speaking her labels for things since 9-10 months old and can identify dogs, cats, cows, babies, etc...

      She's funny with certain things, too. She LOVES phones and remote controls. I tried to give her an old remote that we weren't using a

  • I can't get my 4-year-old to shut up, ever. High volume monologues, singing, questions and so forth every single minute he's awake. Please, please tell me we might get the sullen teenager stage early.

    As far as the article, uh duh. Said four year old knew a number of words by 10 months- Mama, Dada, Adah (Adam, his name) My current toddler is slower, but he certainly knew Mama and Dada well before a year. At 14 months, his favorite word is Uh-oh. Not a favorite of ours, since he uses it appropriately.

  • My daughter was using words reliably at 7 months. Her first? "Ki-ka", referring to the neighbor's cat. It was a consistent pattern of usage, too. "Da-da" was next, and eventually "Ma-ma."
  • Who said latches were boring? My mom likes to tell the story of how I was 6 months old, sitting in a crib, and I'd love to look at the hinges on my bedroom door as the door opened and closed. I guess I was trying to figure out how they worked.

    If hinges are that fascinating, imagine how incredible the infantile study of LATCHES must be!!

    • I was older than 6 months but my parents had bought me a tool set. They had also installed one of those old expanding gates to block off the door to where my mother was doing some sewing since I had discovered the pedal and liked playing race-car with it which did not please my mother.

      Anyway, my parents thought I'd scream in protest about being blocked from the room but I was, instead, quiet and content. Warning: when kids are quiet, be afraid. The silence came to an end when the gate crashed down. I had be
  • Kids MUCH younger than that can certainly link concepts to phonemes, why not object?

    I mean, tell a 6 month old "no", even in a rising tone (non-negatively inflected, in english) and they get the concept. How hard is it to believe that they can tie concept-object? Seems logical to me.

    Although I have to say I know a lot of adults that could use a refresher course.
  • As a fetus, my daughter recited a proof of Riehmann's hypothesis as I listened through a stethoscope.
  • 10 months seems a bit conservative. Our daughter learned to recognize the word "Kitty" at about 5 1/2 months. We have 2 cats, and she laughs whenever she sees them as if they were the next Penn and Teller. If one of the cats was around, but not yet noticed, we could just ask her "Where's the Kitty?", and she would stop whatever she was doing, and look around the entire room until she found them. 100% repeatable by 6 months.

    Again, no surprise to parents, but kids are much more capable than even the so-called
  • A 10 month old baby can reach out for objects and pick them up using accurate finger motions, feed itself, perform the balancing act required to sit up, respond to its name, turn towards a sound and can do all kinds of other things. Babies can peform feats of visual processing that blow away the cleverest image processing software. So why is it news that a baby can recognise some words at 10 months, something that even a PocketPC can do?
  • Well, not really. But early on, we could name one of her books and she could pull it off the shelf. She recognized by colors and patterns or something. You could also recite part of the book and she'd pull the right one.

    We could get some gullible people to think she was reading the book title to pick them out. Great party trick.
  • My son Jason started talking at about nine months and was using complete sentences by a year. At his one year checkup, we told the pediatrician that Jason was talking already. The pediatrician pointed to one of the pictures decorating his office. "What's that, Jason?" he asked. Jason said, "That... is... a... picture... of... a... bird... on... wall." (Jason spoke very slowly and haltingly, with difficulty, like he was thinking hard about each word.) The doctor was amazed, he said he had never heard a child

Nothing will dispel enthusiasm like a small admission fee. -- Kim Hubbard

Working...