According to new research at Stanford University, children as young as 24 months pick up a lot of grammar basics. Previous research has shown they are able to use articles, such as "a" and "the," early and correctly. But it's not certain whether toddlers are imitating adults are truly understand the differences. Researchers argue whether such grammar development is innate or learned. More research is needed.
There will be an app for that. Matthew Frank, associate professor of psychology at Stanford University, and his colleagues are developing an online database, Wordbank, to gather data on children's vocabulary and early language development. Frank is also collaborating on a smartphone app to collect early vocabulary data from parents.
“It’s going to take a tremendous amount of data to study this problem and build enough evidence for how children learn language,” Frank is reported as saying in a recent Stanford University article. “We’re hoping that once we have those data, we can get a clearer picture of children’s early learning.”