Further to the ‘nee-naw’ posting of a few weeks ago, I can report that Katie is still calling every vehicle with a siren a ‘nee-naw’ though she does now seem more open to the notion that they might also be called a ‘police car’ or an ‘ambulance’ or whatever.

I’ve noticed a striking new example of overextension in her vocabulary recently, which was exemplified very obviously in W H Smith’s this morning. At the entrance was a display of video games including a football game with

Michael Owen holding a football.

“Look, daddy; tennis,” Katie said.

The quick witted among you will already probably have assumed that this is a simple overextension of one particular ball game to cover all ball games, but in fact there’s more to it than that. Katie knows what a football is, and is familiar with the game of football. She calls both the object, and the game, ‘football’.

I’m fairly sure that what she was responding to on that display was in fact the wii logo. At home, if she wants to play on the wii, she will say something like: “Kitty tennis.” If you then set it up, and put the tennis game on she may well say: “No, daddy, Kitty bowling.”

At first I thought she was being contrary but then realised that she is using tennis as the name for the whole wii game playing concept. Presumably this happened due to tennis being the game that was probably played most often at the time that she started becoming aware of the device and what it does. So, seeing the television and this little white box being switched on, and these little white remote controls being pointed at the screen and swung about, after hearing her brothers say: “Let’s play tennis,” it is ‘tennis’ that has become the label for the wii.

I must admit, though, I was a little surprised to see that label being applied outside the immediate context of the wii game in our sitting room, and brought into the shopping centre, apparently with no more stimulus than a little logo.

I’m sure the Nintendo marketing people would be delighted!

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