Babies in Scotland less likely to know about carrots
BABIES in Scotland are less likely to know what a carrot is, according to new research.
Language researchers carried out one of the largest surveys of the first words used by British children. They found that “thank you” finds its way into their vocabulary most often in East Anglia, the West Midlands and Northern Ireland but is least often used in Wales and London.
Carrot was used by babies more in Wales than in Scotland.
The use of “sorry” also varies by region. It is most prevalent in Scotland and the southwest and although Welsh babies say it more than “thank you”, those in London are once again at the bottom when it comes to common courtesy.
The study involved 2,000 families and was carried out by Michelle Peter, from Liverpool university.
She told the BBC2 programme Babies: Their Wonderful World, due to be shown on Monday night, that the words babies used early on reflected their early experiences.
She said: “The words children are producing first tend to be social words, or words for people who are important in their lives.
“Mama and dada are going to be the most significant people in their lives but also social words like ‘hiya’ and ‘thank you’. Then there are other significant characters in their lives, even if they come from unlikely sources. You can also see Peppa.”
She said there was also evidence that the language used by babies gave clues about family and extended families.
“One of the early learned words was grandma. It was pretty popular across the UK but it was most popular in Northern Ireland or the northeast. That might be because children in those areas might be seeing their grandparents more often.”
The average baby had around 50 words at 18 months and over the followi ng six months t heir vocabulary increased at a rate of more than one word a day. At the age of two, the average baby had about 300 words but those with the largest vocabulary had more than 400.
Dr Peter said overall, babies tended to be polite with 63 per cent were able to say thank you, she said. “Most of them knew the word sorry from early on.”
Most babies know the word ‘sorry’ from early on, according to a study