Early Word Combinations

When children begin to combine words to form the simplest sentences, most are limited in length to two words, although a few may be as long as three or four words. These early sentences are often unique and creative, composed primarily of nouns, verbs, and adjectives. In English, function words (such as articles or prepositions) and other grammatical morphemes, such as noun (e.g., plural -s) and verb inflections (e.g., past tense -ed or present progressive -ing), are usually omitted, making the child's productive speech sound "telegraphic"; however, this is less true for children learning other languages, such as Italian or Hebrew, that are rich in inflectional morphology.

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