A correspondent writes with a nice child language story. While in a supermarket she heard an exasperated mother say to her child:
Will - you - be - have!
To which the child replied:
But I am being have.
With have pronounced /heiv/, of course.
I've got quite a few word-part substitutions in my collection of children's analytical errors. I reported several in my Listen to Your Child in the various 'The Things They Say' sections. 'Don't argue!' says the mother. 'I don't argme' says the child. Or this sequence, heard on a train approaching London.
Child: Are we there yet?
Father: No, we're still in the outskirts
Child (after a pause): Have we reached the inskirts yet?
Usually, children maintain grammatical identity in their substitutions. In the first of these examples, the perception that ue is you leads to the replacement by another pronoun. In the second, out is replaced by in. But I don't recall hearing one which switches grammatical status quite so radically, with a word-part becoming a copula verb. Presumably it's the abnormal stress which motivated it. Anyone come across other examples like this?