Noun and verb knowledge in monolingual preschool children across 17 languages: Data from cross-linguistic lexical tasks (LITMUS-CLT)

Journal article by Ewa Haman, Magdalena Łuniewska, Pernille Hansen, Hanne Gram Simonsen, Shula Chiat, Jovana Bjekić, Agnė Blažienė, Katarzyna Chyl, Ineta Dabašinskienė, Pascale Engel de Abreu, Natalia Gagarina, Anna Gavarró, Gisela Håkansson, Efrat Harel, Elisabeth Holm, Svetlana Kapalková, Sari Kunnari, Chiara Levorato, Josefin Lindgren, Karolina Mieszkowska, Laia Montes Salarich, Anneke Potgieter, Ingeborg Ribu, Natalia Ringblom, Tanja Rinker, Maja Roch, Daniela Slančová, Frenette Southwood, Roberta Tedeschi, Aylin Müge Tuncer, Özlem Ünal-Logacev, Jasmina Vuksanović and Sharon Armon-Lotem in Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics. Special Issue: "Testing Vocabulary in Bilingual Children across Languages," volume 31, issue 11–12, 2017.

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Abstract

This article investigates the cross-linguistic comparability of the newly developed lexical assessment tool Cross-linguistic Lexical Tasks (LITMUS-CLT). LITMUS-CLT is a part the Language Impairment Testing in Multilingual Settings (LITMUS) battery (Armon-Lotem, de Jong & Meir, 2015). Here we analyse results on receptive and expressive word knowledge tasks for nouns and verbs across 17 languages from eight different language families: Baltic (Lithuanian), Bantu (isiXhosa), Finnic (Finnish), Germanic (Afrikaans, British English, South African English, German, Luxembourgish, Norwegian, Swedish), Romance (Catalan, Italian), Semitic (Hebrew), Slavic (Polish, Serbian, Slovak) and Turkic (Turkish). The participants were 639 monolingual children aged 3;0–6;11 living in 15 different countries. Differences in vocabulary size were small between 16 of the languages; but isiXhosa-speaking children knew significantly fewer words than speakers of the other languages. There was a robust effect of word class: accuracy was higher for nouns than verbs. Furthermore, comprehension was more advanced than production. Results are discussed in the context of cross-linguistic comparisons of lexical development in monolingual and bilingual populations.

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Published Sep. 25, 2017 6:39 PM - Last modified Mar. 8, 2018 2:51 PM