Anyway, Lila is very much in the early sentence phase, and what's fun is that a huge number of her utterances fall into 3 word sentences that basically look like the top of the tree diagrams my middle school English teacher had me learning. Do you remember those diagrams? If you never did them, here's a guide.
SUBJECT | VERB | OBJECTThis was the basic structure of all sentences. Understanding that diagram meant you could write complete sentences, meant you would always be able to identify a fragment or a run-on, meant you could pretty much parse anything you wanted to. Here's what's kind of neat about Lila's speech right now: she has near total respect for the basic SVO word order in English, but complete flexibility about what kinds of words can fill the verb slot. So her diagrams look more like this:
SUBJECT | WHATEVER-I-FEEL-LIKE | OBJECTHere's a list of some typical sentences:
|Mamma hep me||Help me, mommy.||The present tense can work as commands like this in Spanish, but not usually in English.|
|Dadda up me, no mamma up me||Daddy should carry me, not mommy||Prepositions can be verbs. Also, she can string these puppies together!|
|Dadda oh no book||Dadda knocked over the book||Exclamations can be verbs|
|Mama book me||Read me a book, mommy||Nouns can be verbs|
|Dada mma* me||Daddy kissed me||Physical actions can be verbs too!|
|Dada may-meh me||Daddy carried me to the basement!||Places can be verbs!|
|Baby doll oh no mih||Baby doll spilled the milk||There can be subjects other than mom and dad|
She of course also has some sentences without objects, like these ones:
|Dadda book oh no!||Daddy's book fell over||Note a proto-genitive here|
|Mamma memeh||Mommy basement||Note a proto-locative here|
Well, there's a list of sentences so far. I'll do my best to listen out for other emerging structures as she rounds the corner towards her 2nd birthday this summer. I believe she is sometimes varying the SVO structure I presented here -- I think I've heard her use VOS appropriately to put emphasis on the subject, suggesting she may already understand the underlying Theme/Rheme structure, but I'm not certain enough of any examples to write them down. I'll keep my ears out!