|a not-uncommon sight when driving around east Boulder County|
Maman: Moi aussi--qu'ils sont beaux! Mais on dit "un cheval, des chevaux." [Me too--aren't they beautiful? But we say "one horse, two horses."]
Griffin: Je sais, je sais. Un cheval, des chevals. [I know, I know, one horse, two horseses.]
Maman: Un cheval, des chevaux. Il n'y a pas de L au pluriel. Tu sais, comme "un oeil, deux yeux." [One horse, two horses. You know, like "one eye, two eyes."]
Griffin: Oh yeah, like "one goose, two geese." Oh look, des moutons! [sheep]
Okay, so reading back over this exchange, I see that it loses a lot in translation.
But what I wanted to share is the fact that Griffin made a mistake when he pluralized the word for horse in French, because it's irregular. When I reminded him of how to say it correctly, and provided him with another similar example, he caught on right away and gave me another exception to the rule--but in English this time!
Metalinguistic awareness. Would a typical five-year-old monolingual kid be able to analyze, compare, and exemplify irregular morphology? I kinda think not!