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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach addresses the question: "How can we unravel the evolution of language, given that there is no direct evidence about it?"


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Academic Paper


Title: Characteristics of early vocabulary and grammar development in Slovenian-speaking infants and toddlers: a CDI-adaptation study*
Author: Ljubica Marjanovič-Umek
Institution: University of Ljubljana
Author: Urška Fekonja-Peklaj
Institution: University of Ljubljana
Author: Anja Podlesek
Institution: University of Ljubljana
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: Slovenian
Abstract: A large body of research shows that vocabulary does not develop independently of grammar, representing a better predictor of the grammatical complexity of toddlers' utterances than age. This study examines for the first time the characteristics of vocabulary and grammar development in Slovenian-speaking infants and toddlers using the Slovenian adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDI). The sample included 512 Slovenian-speaking infants and toddlers aged 0 ; 8 to 2 ; 6. The findings suggest that between age 0 ; 8 and 2 ; 6 the development of vocabulary is best described using a quadratic function. The results also show that nouns predominate in the vocabularies of infants and toddlers of various ages; as they age and with the increasing size of their vocabularies, the share of interjections decreases and the share of verbs and adjectives increases. The size of vocabulary was also found to be related to the grammatical structure of toddlers' utterances.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 40, Issue 4, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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