Introducing….Babies of USC Linguistics

The USCling blog is not the only newborn around the USC Linguistics department! Many of our USC Linguistics students and faculty have recently had children, and we are thrilled to e-introduce them to you, along with some stories of language acquisition! Without further ado, please meet the babies of USC Linguistics:


Parent: Ellen

Child: David, 19 months

This is David, and he loves balls, books, and the soundtrack to Frozen. He has been rapidly acquiring new words for some time now, primarily names of objects (no verbs yet), since around the time that he started relentlessly and persistently seeking out my iPhone whenever I would hide it somewhere (I guess that was when he had a good ability to represent objects that are not physically in view?). It has been fascinating to hear his pronunciation evolve – if anyone can tell me why “duck” would go from [də] to [dək] by way of the intermediate pronunciation [dəkn̩], I’d love to know!

Minnie Mouse

Parent: Mary

Child: Rosemarie, 19 months

Rosemarie is 19 months now, and her first word was “ball” at 13 months. She has a toy telephone she holds to her ear and babbles at.  She puts pauses in the babbling just like someone was talking to her, and sometimes laughs at the things they say.  It’s so realistic, that I find myself hesitating to talk to her for fear of ‘interrupting’!  Apparently, her Dad and me talk on the phone too much…


Parent: Peter

Child: Zekiel, 8 months

Zekiel loves Mommy, Daddy, Gerald the giraffe and Koala Keys (toys), playing with his feet, making lots of vocalizations (and almost starting to babble!), eating yogurt and avocado, going to Disneyland, being Daddy’s little buddy, and giving extra-goopy kissies. Dislikes include being away from Mommy and Daddy, riding in the car, hot LA weather, eating cereal, and Daddy putting him down to do chores. Some recent quotes: “aaoowyuu”, “gooo”, “dadada”, “llllghaaa”, “vvvvvv.”


Parent: Priyanka

Child: Aarini, 11 months

Here is Aarini, the ‘adventurous.’ Take another name for her – Joyee – be it a ‘winner’ or just ‘made of joy’ – she definitely makes our lives joyful. A born-foodie, she explores her world through her mouth. Her newest love is dogs, and hence everything else in the world is [dɔ].

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