LANGUAGE IN CHILDHOOD 319
articulate language is being perfected; a period contemporary with that in which he is acquiring a content of language along with the patrimony of perception.
The child has perhaps not heard' perfectly in all their component parts the words which he pronounces, and, if he has heard them perfectly, they may have been pronounced badly, and consequently have left an erroneous auditory perception. It would be well that the child, by exercising the motor channels of articulate language should establish exactly the movements necessary to a perfect articulation, before the age of easy motor adaptations is passed, and, by the fixation of erroneous mechanisms, the defects become incorrigible.
To this end the analysis of speech is necessary. As when we wish to perfect the language we first start children at composition and then pass to grammatical study; and when we wish to perfect the style we first teach to write grammatically and then come to the analysis of style — so when we wish to perfect the speech it is first necessary that the speech exist, and then it is proper to proceed to its analysis. When, therefore, the child speaks, but before the completion of the development of speech which renders it fixed in mechanisms already established, the speech should be analysed with a view to perfecting it.
Now, as grammar and rhetoric are not possible with the spoken language but demand recourse to the written language which keeps ever before the eye the discourse to be analysed, so it is with speech.
The analysis of the transient is impossible.
The language must be materialised and made stable. Hence the necessity of the written word or the word represented by graphic signs.