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Vocabulary size and speed of word recognition in very young French–English bilinguals: A longitudinal study*



A longitudinal study of lexical development in very young French–English bilinguals is reported. The Computerized Comprehension Test (CCT) was used to directly assess receptive vocabulary and processing efficiency, and parental report (CDI) was used to measure expressive vocabulary in monolingual and bilingual infants at 16 months, and six months later, at 22 months. All infants increased their comprehension and production of words over the six-month period, and bilingual infants acquired approximately as many new words in each of their languages as the monolinguals did. Speed of online word processing was also equivalent in both groups at each wave of data collection, and increased significantly across waves. Importantly, significant relations emerged between language exposure, vocabulary size, and processing speed, with proportion of language exposure predicting vocabulary size at each time point. This study extends previous findings by utilizing a direct measure of receptive vocabulary development and online word processing.


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Address for correspondence: Jacqueline Legacy, 7141 Sherbrooke Street West, PY Building 276-3, H4B 1R6, Montreal, Quebec, Canada


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This research was supported by NICHD under award #R01HD468058 and does not necessarily represent the views of the National Institutes of Health. The authors wish to thank Laura Alaria, Alexandra Bittner, Antonella Crettol, Cristina Crivello, Katherine Gittins, Melissa Icart, Olivia Kuzyk, Tamara Patrucco-Nanchen, Monyka Rodrigues, and Lyakout Mohamed Said for their help with data collection.



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Vocabulary size and speed of word recognition in very young French–English bilinguals: A longitudinal study*



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