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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

THE SPEECH OF THE CHILD                   321

After the age of two syntaxis is established, the construction
of sentences and their mutual dependence.

In thus observing the development of language a real * gram-
matical analysis' is made. In fact, if one did not speak
grammatically, it would not be possible to express thought in any

It is worthwhile mentioning that the only language anyone,,
educated or not, possesses perfectly as far as the sounds and the
grammatical construction is concerned is the so-called 'mother
tongue'. The child therefore not only acquires the spoken
language, but he acquires it in a special way, because only
thus that language becomes a 'personal characteristic,' hence a,
* characteristic of the race'. It infixed in the human individual.

When we studied and meditated upon this marvellous creative
phenomenon, we recognized in the little child a mental form,
different from ours, which we called: * absorbent mind '.

The natural development of language in the child suggests*
the idea that in order to help this development in education we must
proceed according to a grammatical scheme. And just as the
mechanisms of written language had given help to and integrated
spoken language in the first period of our experiment, so alsa
written language in a grammatical form and succession, by mean&
of objects, games and written words, can help a superior spoken
language: the language of the dictorium, i.e. the expression of

The success of this second attempt surpassed by far the first.
Although the methods used in the beginning have been retained
fundamentally, there is this difference: the words of spoken lan-
guage are no longer important only because they can be reproduced
in written language, they are important too on account of their
grammatical meaning. Thus also the union between words not
only helps to * translate into writing* what one would say in
speaking, it leads at once to the discovery of * sentences full of
meaning' which are developed by and by on the lines of gram-
matical construction.