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The Development of Negation in Early Child Language Roy D. Pea (1980) - page 45 / 52

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For their child’s safety, a parent may have to verbally constrain and prohibit him/her from exploration.

Spitz provides insights into the child’s formation of the concept of negation as constraint:

Parents first physically constrain their children verbally then do it from a distance by language and gesture.

Within a month of physical constraints, the children show signs of understanding “no” and the headshake in that type of situation.

Another sign they understand is when they intentionally disobey.

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