First words

What is it with the lamps?

Well, it is hard to accept but still true: Aren’s first word is “ba”. He uses that to mean lamba (Turkish) (“lamp” in English). I heard that his cousins’ first words were lamp, though in different languages. Densu said pu – lamppu (Finnish) and Ekin said ba –lamba (Turkish). What is it with the lamps that is more interesting to these guys than their “mum” or “dad”?

Switching on and off the light is a great joy for Aren; whenever he wakes up, he runs to the switch, and says a nice, strong and long “baaaa”. I still remember the expression on his face, when he got the remote for one of the lamps, clicked on the button, and saw that the light turned on. The same for the wall switch. These must have been the first realizations of the idea that he can make something happen. That he can change something. Therefore his language cognition is related to this fledgling consciousness; see this thing, it is related to me, I can make something with it.

Maybe first moments of language is not really about tagging things but making the expression of one’s existence. The lamp is something I can express myself, by speaking it, maybe I am speaking myself. I am saying “me” within that “ba”. Too much of a stretch? Maybe. My limited knowledge in linguistic anthropology ends here, and hope somebody can bring in different examples. Yet, still it is very exciting to see which words will come out of his mouth.


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