Listen to Lexicon Valley Episode No. 35: Learning to Say No
No means no, right? Not exactly. The seemingly simple word has a nuanced series of functions that children somehow master early on. In fact, no is among the top 10 or so words that English-speaking babies say when first beginning to talk (daddy and mommy are Nos. 1 and 2, you'll be happy to know). By the way, yes doesn't even crack the top 20. Listen as Bob Garfield and I discuss the various ways that children use negation.
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