Chapter published in:Sources of Variation in First Language Acquisition: Languages, contexts, and learners
Edited by Maya Hickmann †, Edy Veneziano and Harriet Jisa
[Trends in Language Acquisition Research 22] 2018
► pp. 183–200
Invariance in variation
Frequency and neighbourhood density as predictors of vocabulary size
This article examines the influence of word frequency (WF) and neighbourhood density (ND) in vocabulary acquisition of French-speaking children. Data were collected through the French version of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory. A regression analysis based on 462 children aged between 16 and 30 months who have acquired at least 5 words revealed that ND and WF together predicted 45% of the variance in vocabulary size, with ND and WF uniquely accounting for 32.2% and 12.8% of that variance respectively. The same analysis was done with nouns and predicates only. For nouns, the model predicted 64.6% of the variance whereas for predicates, the size of predicate vocabulary was not correlated with either of the two variables.
Keywords: lexicon, development, word frequency, neighbourhood density, French
Published online: 22 February 2018
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