What are the common inflection mistakes that Russian kids make as they progress in mastering their first language?

closed as not constructive by Armen Tsirunyan, Adam Lear Jul 4 '12 at 19:57

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    A male friend of mine used to talk as a female (saying я пошла, поела, etc.) until he was about three and a half years old, because his mother talked to him in Russian, and his father in Armenian, so he didn't know any better :)) – Armen Tsirunyan Jun 28 '12 at 0:12
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    I feel this question is too open ended in its current form... I mean, any user could bring an example. Can we try to narrow it down? – Alenanno Jun 28 '12 at 0:17
  • @ArmenTsirunyan - HA HA! This is so hilarious! – brilliant Jun 28 '12 at 0:39
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    This is not about Russian kids, but it's a funny error. A Russian language instructor in the US told me that she once had a student who, when speaking, could not clearly distinguish between он идёт and он идиот; when trying to say the first it came out sounding like the second. – KCd Jun 28 '12 at 4:31
  • @KCd HA HA HA!!!! :) – brilliant Jun 28 '12 at 4:32

It's typical of children (of Russian children, at least) to experiment with morphology. Korney Chukovsky wrote a book 'from 2 to 5' about his experience of childern from 2 to 5 understanding the undercurrent rules of Russian. It states such tendencies as

  1. experimenting (- Дай другую логу! - логу instead of ложку. In fact, why not :) ? But we never say so, of course).
  2. creating one's own etymology: Паутина (cobweb) -> паукина (as it has a spider, or паук there).
  3. Widening the semantics: - Облака-то сняли! Сняли с неба облака! (we Russians don't 'take off' clouds from the sky).

I guess that's about it but the examples are fantastic! If you're interested in the book, you can find it on http://www.chukfamily.ru/Kornei/Prosa/Ot2do5/Ot2do5.htm. If you don't understand the Russian there, you can mail me to mari_belova@mail.ru. I've read the book and enjoyed it and I hope that you will enjoy it too!

In fact, as a linguist, I had lectures on children's language. So feel free to torture me with your curiosity :)))

  • Are there any examples of wrong usage of declensions or mixing up the cases (genitive, dative, instrumental, and so on)? It would be interesting to have examples of this. – Giorgio Jun 28 '12 at 6:59
  • I'm sorry I failed to find such examples... Maybe kids don't mix cases much, they just imitate what they hear? – Мария Jul 2 '12 at 1:41
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    I read somewhere that "лога" emerges because it is big from child's point of view, so it can't be "ложка". So does "скамейка", "кружка", "чашка" - "скамея", "кружа", "чаша", etc. – Artemix Aug 23 '13 at 9:04

My niece used to say "вчера" instead of "завтра".

  • Time concept was hard for my 3-years old daughter. For example "yesterday" was everything in the past (even several months ago). – Artemix Aug 23 '13 at 9:09
  • @artemix, upvote the answer then – Trident D'Gao Aug 23 '13 at 14:18

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