[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The composition of young children's vocabularies in 7 contrasting linguistic communities was investigated. Mothers of 269 twenty-month-olds in Argentina, Belgium, France, Israel, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and the United States completed comparable vocabulary checklists for their children. In each language and vocabulary size grouping (except for children just learning to talk), children's vocabularies contained relatively greater proportions of nouns than other word classes. Each word class was consistently positively correlated with every other class in each language and for children with smaller and larger vocabularies. Noun prevalence in the vocabularies of young children and the merits of several theories that may account for this pattern are discussed.
Child Development 07/2004; 75(4):1115-39. · 4.72 Impact Factor