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Early lexical acquisition and the vocabulary spurt: a response to Goldfield & Reznick*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 September 2008

Carolyn B. Mervis
Affiliation:
Emory University
Jacquelyn Bertrand
Affiliation:
Emory University

Abstract

Vocabulary development of three children (aged 1;6–1;8 at the start of the study) who had not begun to evidence a vocabulary spurt even though their productive vocabularies already included well over 50 words was followed to determine if these children eventually would have a vocabulary spurt. All three children evidenced a spurt, beginning at a mean productive vocabulary size of 112 words. The vocabulary spurt occurred at about the same time as the children first demonstrated the ability to sort objects exhaustively and to fast map new object names. Results are discussed in the context of Goldfield & Reznick's (1990; Reznick & Goldfield, 1992) argument that a substantial proportion of children never evidence a vocabulary spurt.

Type
Notes and Discussion
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995

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Footnotes

[*]

Preparation of this manuscript was supported by grant HD27042 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development awarded to the first author. We would like to thank the parents and children for their participation in this project. Sharon Forshee assisted us with data collection. We have had several discussions with Roberta Golinkoff regarding the ideas considered in this paper. Michael Tomasello and two anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments on a previous version of this manuscript.

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