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Vocabulary development in Greek children: a cross-linguistic comparison using the Language Development Survey*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 May 2011

Department of Preschool Education and of Educational Planning, University of the Aegean, Greece
Department of Psychology, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa., USA
[*]Address for correspondence: Christina Papaeliou, Miltiadou 39, P. Faliro, 175–63, Greece. e-mail:


This study investigated vocabulary size and vocabulary composition in Greek children aged 1 ; 6 to 2 ; 11 using a Greek adaptation of Rescorla's Language Development Survey (LDS; Rescorla, 1989). Participants were 273 toddlers coming from monolingual Greek-speaking families. Greek LDS data were compared with US LDS data obtained from the instrument's normative sample (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2000). Vocabulary size increased markedly with age, but Greek toddlers appeared to get off to a slower start in early word learning than US children. The correlation between percentage word use scores in Greek and US samples was moderate in size, indicating considerable overlap but some differences. Common nouns were the largest category among the fifty most frequent words in both samples. Numbers of adjectives and verbs were comparable across languages, but people and closed-class words were more numerous in the Greek sample. Finally, Greek late talkers showed similar patterns of vocabulary composition to those observed in typically developing Greek children.

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