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Re: Cardinal vs Ordinal Age

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Thursday, November 6, 2003, 6:19
On Wednesday, November 5, 2003, at 03:28 PM, Iain E. Davis wrote:

> At 03:34 AM 11/4/2003, you wrote:
>> Interesting. Yet little children who boast about how big >> they are use cardinal numbers (in English and Israeli Hebrew). >> Even earlier, when they can barely count, little kids who >> hold up fingers to tell how old they are, are also using >> cardinal numbers. Possibly because kids learn cardinal >> numbers before ordinal numbers. Would this be a >> language universal? > > I don't know. The choice may be culturally driven. Given the age of the > typical parent, I'm assuming the parents (the child's primary source of > information on "how to talk") are going to use cardinal numbers. > > In fact, it is my experience that children are almost taught to say "I am > four years old" even before they really know what "I am four years old" > means.
Yep - my granddaughter proudly says she's three & a half. But I doubt that she has fully grasped the concept - particularly the "half" bit. I'd be mighty surprised if she told me she was in her 4th year! Indeed, I don't recall her ever using ordinal numbers in any context yet. She's only now getting used to cardinals.
> They just know that it is an appropiate response to "How old are > you?".
'sright :) Ray =============================================== (home) (work) ===============================================