Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Hands to the keyboard

Help at last! Two small grandchildren volunteered to assist me on my computer keyboard. You can see the result at the top of the page.
The young lady on the left is nearly five weeks old. How much can she help me? Her communication skills are still rudimentary. She can let us know when she is upset for any reason, but we need a special genius to interpret whether this is due to hunger, constipation, wind, discomfort, boredom or fear of loud noises. Fortunately, we have someone in the family who has this special genius. That is the power of mothers.
The young man on the right is two and a half, and he can communicate a number of things very clearly. When he says "Opa bauen", I know that my moment has come. He wants me to build something, perhaps a wooden railway track, or possibly a house or car of Duplo bricks. And he can communicate this with words alone, even if the building materials are not in the same room.
Neither of them can really use the keyboard. Neither of them can tell an imaginary story. But in spite of their limitations, all human language is there. They may grow up to be real language experts. They will certainly be skilled users of language.
Human language really is a miracle!

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