January 25, 2004

Studying child language in the wild

Harper's Magazine (February 2004, p. 18) reports that children attending the Chicago International Children's Film Festival were given a survey including a question that said, "What new and interesting things did you learn from seeing these films?" One child wrote this answer:

Because when he turned his self into a chicken the two chicken.

I don't really have anything to say about this. Except perhaps that people who study child language by actually looking at things children say or write face an extremely difficult task and deserve our sympathy and respect.

Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at January 25, 2004 11:34 AM