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See Inside September / October 2009

Why Don't Babies Talk Like Adults?

Kids go from goo-goo to garrulous one step at a time



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Editor's Note: This article was adapted from Mind Matters, www.ScientificAmerican.com/MindMatters, a column edited by Gareth Cook, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist at the Boston Globe, and Jonah Lehrer, the science writer behind the blog The Frontal Cortex, http://scienceblogs.com/­cortex

The setting: a nursery. A baby speaks directly to the camera: “Look at this. I’m a free man. I go anywhere I want now.” He describes his stock-buying activities, but then his phone interrupts. “Relentless! Hang on a second.” He answers his phone. “Hey, girl, can I hit you back?”

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