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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|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|