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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Subject: Pronoun switching using 'my' instead of 'I'
Question: A 5 year old boy is using my as a subject pronoun. e.g., My am going to see grandma, instead of I am going to see grandma.

His kindergarten teacher thinks this is an issue that needs a speech pathologist intervention. I contend that this is a language problem, not a speech issue. The boy has NO problem in forming the sounds and can easily say both words. I think he needs correction to change what has become a habit of misuse. What I don't know is if this is an indication of developmental concern for a 5 year old. Please comment.

Thank you so much for your input.

I am an ex-language teacher and LOVE the language acquisition process.

Reply: Without more examples of the phenomenon, it's difficult to assess what is going on. The example sentence you give seems to me to be a bit odd in that most speakers would contract the first two words: "I'm" -- not "I am." Sometimes, young speakers spread a consonant sound in a word, so if he's actually saying "my'm" [= I'm], then, that might account for the anomaly. If it occurs in every instance where the first person singular subject pronoun is required, even when no other instances of [m] appear, you are looking at something else.

It really wouldn't hurt to consult a speech-language pathologist. These specialists do much more than correct sounds; they are trained in all kinds of language issues, including developmental problems. An informed opinion will help with making a decision about treatment, if any is indicated.
Reply From: Marilyn N Silva      click here to access email
 
Date: 12-Dec-2013
 
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Pronoun switching using 'my' instead of 'I'    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (13-Dec-2013)
  2. Re: Pronoun switching using 'my' instead of 'I'    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (13-Dec-2013)
  3. Re: Pronoun switching using 'my' instead of 'I'    Susan D Fischer     (12-Dec-2013)

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