How kids are creative with language – Quiz

As a parent it’s hard to miss children’s mispronunciations as they start to produce new words. Oftentimes, sounds are left out so that the pronunciation is simplified: out of the mouths of babes comes boemen instead of bloemen, naan instead of banaan, and rood instead of brood. Children also sometimes change the sounds of words: kikker becomes titter, poes becomes poef and koffie turns into poffie. But even when children can pronounce words properly and their vocabulary has increased considerably, they sometimes still use them differently from adults. They’re often highly creative, making up new words and expressions which don’t happen to be words or expressions in our language. Often they do this because they don’t yet know the word we would use. This creative use of language can provide us with insights into how words are stored in children’s heads. Join our quiz and learn all about this amazing feature of child language! We’ll show you some nice examples of creative child language and in doing so we’ll learn about what this tells us about the young linguistic brain.




This activity is suitable for everyone aged 8 and older. It is led by Paula Fikkert, professor of First Language Acquisition and Phonology at the Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University.

nl | en