Nine Deviations of Childlike Language / Devet devijacija djecolikog jezika
Croatian Journal of Education - Hrvatski časopis za odgoj i obrazovanje
Over the decades there have been discussions regarding the ownership and definition of texts written for children. The paper discusses the term "childlike language" as the one distinguished from other types of language through its connection to the image of a child and children's culture, but generated by adults. Accordingly, childlike language is marked by a distinct deviation/aberration from the norm and is produced by adult authors who often engage in literary experimentation and exhibit a
... ion and exhibit a propensity for identifying with their child audience. In their strong association with the "semiotic", as defined by Julia Kristeva, denoting the prosody and sound of language, such literary works for children exhibit deviant nature linguistically/ lexically, phonetically, semantically, orthographically, and grammatically through their use of neologisms, word play, sound patterns, hyperbole, nonsense, and other stylistic and structural elements. Therefore, authors for children express their childlike nature by means of language which defies common rules, challenges status quo, and which results in playfulness, humor, subversiveness and grotesque. For this purpose, the research focuses on the examples of popular works by children's authors belonging to the English-speaking literary tradition, such as others, in order to detect and illustrate the categories of childlike language. However, though the analysis will stick to its designated focus, the childlike expression is universal regardless of age and location. It is a source of freedom and divergent thinking, it makes us want to read, and it lets us grow up to be very powerful people.