Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Conversation

Miss FLG wakes up from her nap. FLG decides to read a book, Goodnight Moon, to her. Mrs. FLG bursts in.

Mrs. FLG: What do you think are you doing?

FLG: Reading Goodnight Moon.

Mrs. FLG: I can hear that. What I meant was, why are you reading it like that?

FLG: You mean like Christopher Walken?

Mrs. FLG: Yes.

FLG: It's fun. Quite frankly, these stories are boring. Plus, look, she loves it.

Miss FLG clapping.

Mrs. FLG: It's annoying and she won't be able to pick up proper prosody.

FLG: Well, we wouldn't want that.

FLG begins reading again.

FLG: ...Old lady whispering hush...

Mrs. FLG from the other room: You're doing it again!

FLG: Don't worry, Miss FLG. Tomorrow we'll have more cowbell.

1 comment:

Andrew Stevens said...

Mrs. FLG is certainly incorrect about prosody. You could talk like Christopher Walken all the time and Miss FLG will not grow up talking like Christopher Walken. Children learn these things from their peers, not their parents, which is why the children of immigrants do not have their parents' accent. There are occasional exceptions - usually because the child has immigrated too late in life or because they belong to an immigrant community in which all their peers also speak with that accent. Children appear to be born with a bias to prefer acquiring information from their peers rather than their parents.

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