|Yes, he really is reading while sitting|
criss-cross-applesauce on the toilet lid.
I don't know why--we do have couches.
Here are some recent Griffinisms that show that he's internalized how French works:
- Calls the stroller a "push" (in French, la poussette is from the verb pousser, to push)
- Uses the word "blocker" to describe the orange cones that separate the lanes of traffic from construction workers (he has heard me say that the cones are there to bloquer the lane)
- Says that the car "rolls" on the road (from rouler)
- Tells people who are bothering him that he is "occupied" rather than "busy" (thanks to occupe in French)
- Disagrees with people who say they don't want to do something with "Me, yes!" instead of something like "Well, I do!" (in French, we'd say moi, si! to contradict)
- Tries to work out how idiomatic expressions correspond in the two languages; I'm thinking specifically of the time when he was muttering "Queue. Tail. We do the tail" while waiting in line (queue can mean the tail of an animal or a line of people, with the idiom faire la queue for "to wait in line")
- Expresses pain with "I have hurt," rather than "I hurt" or "it hurts" (the expression in French is avoir mal, to have pain)
- Confuses prepositions of place, such as "at the trash" instead of "in" (a la poubelle) and "at Denver" in lieu of "to Denver" (a Denver)
- Tosses an adjective after the noun from time to time, like "that's my shirt red" (chemise rouge--in French, most adjectives follow the noun instead of preceding it as in English)
- Refers to cornbread as "bread of corn" (thanks to pain de mais in French)
- Has used this same structure to show possession, such as "the truck of Granddad" (la camionnette de Granddad)
- Also indicates possession with "it's at me" to mean "mine" and "it's at you" for "yours" (one way to expression ownership in French is with the preposition a plus a disjunctive pronoun--a moi, a toi)
- Asks for an ice cream or a steamer "at vanilla" (blame it on une glace a la vanille)
- Occasionally uses a masculine or feminine pronoun, instead of "it," to refer to an inanimate object, as seen in "The car is rolling as fast as she wants" (la voiture is feminine in French)
- Also shows awareness of gender via pronouns, as seen in the following exchange:
- Maman: Qu'est-ce que tu vas lui dire? (What are you going to say to her [in preparation for a visit to the pediatrician])
- Griffin: Is Dr. Black a boy or a girl?
- Maman: C'est une femme. (She's a woman.)
- Griffin: Mais tu as dit "lui"! (But you said "he"--lui as a disjunctive pronoun means "him," while the indirect object pronoun lui means "to him" OR "to her," depending on the context)
And these are only the examples that I took the time to jot down! I wonder if anyone else who hears Griffin speak picks up on these quirks--after all, most preschoolers and toddlers use imprecise or incorrect vocabulary and grammar from time to time. Does your child's speech ever show the influence of another language? Is the child aware that this is happening? I'd love to hear how it works in other families!