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J Child Lang. 1991 Feb;18(1):21-40.

Early lexical development and maternal speech: a comparison of children's initial and subsequent uses of words.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London, UK.

Abstract

In Harris, Barrett, Jones & Brookes (1988), we reported the results of a detailed analysis of the initial uses of the first 10 words which were produced by four children. The present paper reports the results of an analysis of the subsequent uses of these 40 words. This analysis reveals that seven qualitatively different patterns of change occurred between the children's initial and subsequent uses of these words; the particular patterns of change which occurred support Barrett's (1986) model of early lexical development. In addition, it was found that, although there was a strong relationship between maternal speech and the children's initial word uses, the relationship between maternal speech and the children's subsequent word uses was very much weaker. These findings indicate that the role of linguistic input in early lexical development may decline quite sharply once the child has established initial uses for words.

PMID:
2010501
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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