So what words do children learn first?
A classic study by Nelson (1973) found that the bulk of chilren's first words were general nominals, that
is.. words denoting classes of objects but not explicit names. Ex: doll, animal. After general nouns, came specific nominals,
then action words (up, hi), followed by modifiers (adjectives), social words, and function words.
Thus, nouns were found to be the most common in first words. This could probably be because nouns are less
complex. Where a noun only has one form plus the plural, it is much easier than learning action words (verbs such as run where
there is also ran, running). However, do not forget that this is only our culture we are talking of here. In other cultures
it is the opposite. In some cultures, actions are emphasised, like in Korea. Choi (2000) found that there was a preference
for learning nouns in english but in Korea there was a preference for verbs, action related words.