320 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD Afterwards, however, great progress was made. These later experiences almost confine those amazing miracles of children of 4 years of age who exploded into writing, to a surpassed epoch. The progress of the children has become even more precocious, the methods more quick and efficient in their success, the interest of the children is even intenser than before. If one were to affirm all of a sudden that children under two years old are able to recognize more than twenty letters of the alphabet, and possess from 500 to 600 words, that at three years of age they begin to study grammar and to read, one would give an impression of utter unreality (it would seem a miracle). It would create the same stir and would draw the same attention as that which struck the learned world forty years ago when the children of San Lorenzo presented a new phenomenon. A new book is certainly necessary to describe these subse- quent achievements; here, however, we wish merely to mention them. Our attention was drawn to younger children, i.e. children from birth to three years of age. It is precisely in that epoch that the spoken language is naturally developed, it makes its first appear- ance at about two years of age. Spoken language follows certain rules in its development and the subsequent acquisitions are made in what could be called a * grammatical' order. This has been observed and recorded for the first time by Stern and subsequently by various other people interested in psychological observation. The child begins to know nouns which refer to objects, and then words that refer to their qualities (adjectives), lastly preposi- tions (concerning the relative position of the objects) and conjunc- tions (which represent the conjunction of the objects). Briefly, there is in the first development a representation of things in the environment. It is a curious fact, however, that a few months before the age of two years words come out of the child as in an explosion of spoken language; and verbs, the exact forms of nouns and adjectives with their prefixes and suffixes; and finally the dis- tinction (and conjugation) of verbal forms regarding the present, past and future tense, and pronouns are used.