Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 September 2009
In the chapter “Baby born talking – describes heaven,” Pinker (1995, 269–270) quotes Adam, the toddler whose corpus of evolving speech has furnished data to generations of scholars (the first number after Adam's name refers to the year and the second to the month of his age).
Play checkers. Big drum. I got horn. A bunny-rabbit walk. (Adam 2;3)
That birdie hopping by Missouri in bag. Do want some pie on your face? Why you mixing baby chocolate? I finish drinking all up down my throat. I said why not you coming in? We going turn light on so you can’t see. (Adam 2;11)
So it can’t be cleaned? I broke my racing car. Do you know the light wents off? What happened to the bridge? When it's got a flat tire it's need a go to the station. Can I put my head in the mailbox so the mailman can know where I are and put me in the mailbox? Can I keep the screwdriver just like a carpenter keep the screwdriver? (Adam 3;2)
Adam, like all children, was not born talking, but by two years three months he was combining words in a toddler-like fashion; a year later his language was nearly that of the adults and children he had been listening to for the first three years of his life.