Joel of Far Outliers has helpfully compiled all of his posts about his daughter’s early language development into one post, taking her from 8 months (“Also this week, she finally came up with her first honest-to-goodness consonant, /b/”) to 47 months (“She is rapidly expanding her vocabulary, stopping to ask us the meaning of any word she doesn’t know yet”); she is now a 24-year-old teacher. Anyone with any interest in how we learn to talk (and deal with multiple languages—the Outlier family was in China during her first years) will find the series of great interest.


  1. Thanks for the Language Hatalanche! I’m on holiday hiatus for the next couple weeks, on the way to the airport in a few minutes. Returning in time for our daughter’s Xmas homecoming!

  2. Our daughter’s early talk answered the question “What was the aboriginal language of all mannkind?” It turned out to be pretty close to Romanian. Though doubtless A.J.P. Vlach will disagree.

  3. Fairly well on topic, a three year old of my acquaintance was just taught to say “dipstick”, which she pronounced “dippystick”.

  4. Speaking of Christmas homecomings, aboriginal languages, and the linguistic development of the recently birthed—I am unable to go up with my Special Lady Friend to see her (Irish Catholic) mom for Christmas this year. She has been taking various tacks to sufficiently guilt me for my failure, but the stingingest is that the sub-1-year-old nephew is completely missing out on his Yiddish instruction—in the most formative years.

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