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Measuring the vocabulary spurt: a reply to Mervis & Bertrand

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 September 2008

Beverly A. Goldfield*
Affiliation:
Rhode Island College
J. Steven Reznick
Affiliation:
Yale University
*
[*] Department of Psychology, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI 02908, USA.

Abstract

We reply to Mervis & Bertrand's report of three children (aged 1; 6–1; 8 at the start of the study) who evidenced a ‘late’ vocabulary spurt. Differences in assessing productive vocabulary, and the questionable inference that size of the lexicon is a reliable indicator of the vocabulary spurt, make it inappropriate to compare these children to previous studies that directly measure change in rate of word learning. Further work using continuous records of lexical development and controls for repeated cognitive assessments is needed to test hypotheses about the spurt and related cognitive and linguistic achievements.

Type
Discussion
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1996

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