People who do things

I heard someone at this University talking about children's language acquisition and he said something about how there is a bit of a leap conceptually in being able to go from describing what someone is doing to then describing them as someone who DOES that. An example used was showing a child a picture of some people playing football and asking what was happening. The child replied something like "Some people playing football". The child was then asked something like "So, what are these people called?".Instead of saying "footballers" the child looked glum and thoughtless. Game Over.

So, I thought I'd try this theory out with Maisie last night. I said "Maisie, what do you call people who play football?". She looked a bit confused and said "I don't know".

"Footballers!" I said. She didn't look very interested.

"Ok" I said "What do you call people who go shopping?". She shrugged again. "Shoppers!" I said.

Suddenly, she looked interested and interjected "What about people who go to Grandma's?".

"Erm, Grandma-ers?" I replied.

I think we cracked it.

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