A Cross-Linguistic Study of Early Lexical Development Essay

10507 WordsFeb 25, 201343 Pages
A CROSS-LINGUISTIC STUDY OF EARLY LEXICAL DEVELOPMENT Posted by hienle_anhc06 on Aug 14, 2011 - 12:35 AM (67 Reads) Cross-linguistic studies have shown that children can vary markedly in rate, style and sequence of grammatical development, within and across natural languages. It is less clear whether there are robust cross-linguistic differences in early lexical development, with particular reference to the onset and rate of growth in major lexical categories (e.g., nouns, verbs, adjectives and grammatical function words). In this study, we present parental report data on the first stages of expressive and receptive lexical development, for 659 English infants and 195 Italian infants between 8 - 16 months of age. Although there are powerful structural differences between English and Italian that could affect the order in which nouns and verbs are acquired, no differences were observed between these languages in the emergence and growth of lexical categories. In both languages, children begin with words that are difficult to classify in adult part-of-speech categories (i.e., "routines"). # is followed by a period of sustained growth in the proportion of vocabulary contributed by common nouns. Verbs, adjectives and grammatical function words are extremely rare until children have vocabularies of at least 100 words. The same sequences are observed in production and comprehension, although verbs are reported earlier for receptive vocabulary. Our results are compared with other reports in the literature, with special reference to recent claims regarding the early emergence of verbs in Korean. Maria Cristina Caselli National Council of Research, Institute of Psychology, Rome Elizabeth Bates University of California, San Diego Paola Casadio National Council of Research, Institute of Psychology, Rome Clinica e Centro di Ricerca Santa Lucia Judi Fenson Children's

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