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Data and beyond*



Perusing early issues of this Journal from nearly forty years ago, we find many topics on the contents lists that could appear in a current issue. But the resources available to contributors for addressing questions of interest have changed dramatically, not least in the public availability of data. Here we look briefly at two assets which have accrued to the field in the intervening decades, and at the contributions they make. CHILDES provides a level playing field on which debates about the import of language sample data, especially longitudinal data, can be played out. The MBCDI and its offspring encourage the collection of data from large samples of individuals and so promote the exploration of factors that may explain individual differences. Both have been major contributions to the field.



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Address for correspondence: Paul Fletcher, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University College Cork, Brookfield Health Sciences Centre, College Road, Cork, Ireland. e-mail:



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