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Phonology and lexicon in a cross-linguistic perspective: the importance of phonetics – a commentary on Stoel-Gammon's ‘Relationships between lexical and phonological development in young children’*



In her interesting article, Stoel-Gammon (this issue) reviews studies concerning the interactions between lexical and phonological development. While the focus of the review is on vocabulary production from children acquiring American English, she also suggests that cross-linguistic research be undertaken to examine how universal and language-specific properties affect the interaction between lexical and phonological acquisition. In this regard, Stoel-Gammon referred to the study of Bleses et al. (2008) who found differences in receptive vocabulary development across languages, based on norming studies for the Communicative Development Inventories (Fenson, Marchman, Thal, Dale, Reznick & Bates, 2007). Bleses et al. showed that Danish children were slower in the early comprehension of words (and phrases). It was hypothesized that the phonetic structure of Danish may account for the difference in receptive vocabulary skills in this population (Bleses & Basbøll, 2004).


Corresponding author

[*]Address for correspondence: Dorthe Bleses, Center for Child Language, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5250 Odense. e-mail:


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