ERIC Number: EJ777488
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Precocious Two-Year-Old: Status of the Lexicon and Links to the Grammar
McGregor, Karla K.; Sheng, Li; Smith, Bruce
Journal of Child Language, v32 n3 p563-583 Aug 2005
This is a study of the lexical and grammatical abilities of 16 lexically precocious talkers. These children, aged 2;0 were compared to their age-matched peers, 22 typical talkers aged 2;0, and their expressive vocabulary-matched peers, 22 typical talkers aged 2;6. Individual differences in children's lexical knowledge at 2;0 were stable -- evident in parent report, laboratory observation, and an experimental fast-mapping paradigm. In accordance with the continuity hypothesis, the lexically precocious children were also grammatically precocious, having a greater representation of grammatical types and tokens and more advanced combinatorial language than their typical age-matches. Their grammatical development was very similar to that of their older vocabulary-matched peers. Limits on continuity were highly constrained with no true dissociation between the lexicon and the grammar in 33 cases examined. We conclude that, among two-year-olds, grammatical development is more tightly associated with the size of the lexicon than with chronological age.
Descriptors: Age, Grammar, Dictionaries, Language Acquisition, Vocabulary Development, Toddlers, Individual Differences, Child Language
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHEW), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A