Stories from the frontiers of language

Interesting couple of stories in the New Scientist this week. I was particularly interested in the second, which reveals “An American mother will say: ‘Look Billy, a truck. It’s shiny and has wheels.’ The focus is on the object… By contrast, Japanese mothers stress context saying things like, ‘I push the truck to you and you push it to me. When you throw it at the wall, the wall says ‘ouch’… To Westerners it seems obvious that babies learn nouns more easily. But while this is the case in the West, studies show that Korean and Chinese children pick up verbs – which relate objects to each other – more easily.”