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An early phase of language acquisition for English speaking children is the overregulation of irregular past tense verbs. In other words, kids learn that “ed” signifies the past tense in English, and before you know it they say things like “Mommy goed to the grocery.” Simon hit that phase a while ago, probably a year or more.

Now he’s doing something a little different. He is overregulating irregular verbs, but is doing so while preserving the core of the irregular form. For example, he’s not saying “I got weared out”, and he’s not saying “I got worn out”; he’s saying “I got worned out.” I wonder where that fits in?

Overregulation isn’t reserved for verbs, either. Having figured out that “ly” signals an adverb, Simon is giving that suffix an overly enthusiastic spin as well. Today’s result? “I’m going to push you down the slide really hardly.”

I laughed myself sick over that one and hope I hear it again before he grows up on me.

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