A friend sent us a link to this video clip of twin pre-verbal toddlers having what appears to be a lively conversation:
Fabulous. Look at them! Gesturing, listening attentively while the other is “speaking”, with rising and falling inflections and cadences — all the attributes of spoken communication. But what’s their subjective experience? Are they actually communicating anything at all, as we would understand “communicating”? Or are they just taking their speech modules, already partially primed from a year or so of listening to the adults around them, but not yet loaded with language, for a dry run? The latter seems more likely, but it’s mighty hard to watch the two of them without thinking that they’re really chatting about something, and understanding each other.