Making the transition to the language of home and community (from about 14 -18 months)
What the transitional language is used for (macrofunctions)
The first step in this transition occurs at about 18 months, when the separate microfunctions of children’s protolanguage merge into two more general macrofunctions.
During the transition children learn more and more words for naming things. First, they learn to use the names of people and things around them, for example, the names of family pets e.g. Spot or Mitzy. If the family has a pet dog, the child might first label all four-legged animals ‘dogs’, but eventually they will learn that there are different types of four-legged animals and they will learn the names for these different types. When children can talk about whole categories of things using general names (nouns), they have ‘unlimited potential for learning about the world in interaction with others’ (Painter et al., 2007, p. 567) (Feez, 2017, p. 35-37).