05 October 2016

gramar and grampar

This is a picture drawn by my granddaughter, Elsie, aged 6.

Note how she spells Grandma and Grandpa. She is following the way she says the words quite accurately: she has a non-rhotic accent, so it is not surprising that she spells /ɑː/ at the end of both words as 'ar'. Secondly, she omits the /d/ in both words, and then the /n/ is next to a bilabial sound (/m/ or /p/), so it gets assimilated to [m].

Her spelling of these words shows quite a sophisticated ability to spell out words that she has probably never seen written. One day, she will no doubt learn the standard spelling. But, in the meantime, her ability to guess the spelling of words based on her pronunciation is quite impressive.

Goodness knows what happened to my hands; but she accurately shows that I don't have much hair!