Aaron’s a year old now, and he’s picking up words of his own. He’s learned “nana” for banana, “nai nai” for milk (in Chinese baby talk), “dada” of course, and a few others.
Lillian and I have been making every effort to speak clearly and correctly when in front of the children. There’s no way to avoid some exposure to poor or sloppy language, because when we take the kids out in public, well, you gets what you gets.
Imagine our disappointment when it seemed that Maddie had begun to pick up a little ghetto speak. (Or maybe it was just lazy speech. We didn’t know what to think, because she never heard these words from us.) She would grab a toy out of Aaron’s hands, and exclaim “Hey! That’s mines!” Or she’d be looking for something, and when she found it, she’d say, “I finded it!”
We listened to this poor speech for a few days before we realized what was really going on. We knew she didn’t hear those words from us, we’d only assumed she’d heard them on the street. But that’s not the case either. She was figuring out grammar and simple, regular verb conjugation!
She wasn’t saying, “That’s mines.” She was saying, “That is mine’s.” She knew that for most the other words, you make them possessive by appending the apostrophe s. Daddy’s, Mommy’s, Baby’s, Mine’s.
It was a similar thing for finded. For regular verbs, you can make a past tense by appending “ed.” Walk, walked. Play, played. Therefore: Find, finded.
English is going to be one heck of a language to learn after all.