Typical and Delayed Lexical Development in Italian Purpose The Language Development Survey (LDS; Rescorla, 1989) was used to compare Italian and English lexical development. The authors addressed the issue of universal versus language-specific aspects of lexical development by testing language, age, and gender effects on vocabulary scores and by comparing vocabulary composition across languages. They addressed the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2014
Typical and Delayed Lexical Development in Italian
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Leslie Rescorla
    Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA
  • Alessandra Frigerio
    Istituto Scientifico E. Medea, Bosisio Parini (LC), Italy
  • Maria Enrica Sali
    Istituto Scientifico E. Medea, Bosisio Parini (LC), Italy
  • Pietro Spataro
    Sapienza University, Rome, Italy
  • Emiddia Longobardi
    Sapienza University, Rome, Italy
  • Disclosure: The first author receives royalties from the University of Vermont Research Center for Children, Youth, and Families, which publishes the Language Development Survey (LDS; Rescorla, 1989  ). The second author is employed by the Istituto Scientifica E. Medea, which distributes the Italian version of the LDS.
    Disclosure: The first author receives royalties from the University of Vermont Research Center for Children, Youth, and Families, which publishes the Language Development Survey (LDS; Rescorla, 1989  ). The second author is employed by the Istituto Scientifica E. Medea, which distributes the Italian version of the LDS. ×
  • Correspondence to Leslie Rescorla: lrescorl@brynmawr.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Luigi Girolametto
    Associate Editor: Luigi Girolametto×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2014
Typical and Delayed Lexical Development in Italian
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2014, Vol. 57, 1792-1803. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-L-13-0242
History: Received September 9, 2013 , Revised January 11, 2014 , Accepted March 29, 2014
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2014, Vol. 57, 1792-1803. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-L-13-0242
History: Received September 9, 2013; Revised January 11, 2014; Accepted March 29, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

Purpose The Language Development Survey (LDS; Rescorla, 1989) was used to compare Italian and English lexical development. The authors addressed the issue of universal versus language-specific aspects of lexical development by testing language, age, and gender effects on vocabulary scores and by comparing vocabulary composition across languages. They addressed the issue of delay versus deviance by comparing vocabulary composition in late talkers and younger vocabulary-size-matched children.

Method Participants were 398 Italian and 206 U.S. children ages 18–35 months.

Results Vocabulary size did not differ significantly by language, and age and gender effects on vocabulary size were not moderated by language. The Italian–English Q correlation for percentage word use scores was .55, lower than the within-language concordance of .90 and above. Cross-linguistic concordance declined as age and vocabulary size increased. Many cross-linguistic word matches (63 words) were found among the top 100 words. Italian late talkers were similar to younger vocabulary-size-matched Italian children in vocabulary composition, consistent with findings for English, Greek, and Korean.

Conclusions In both languages, the early lexicons of late talkers and typical talkers contained many of the same words, indicating considerable universality in young children's lexical development. These common words are therefore good targets for clinical intervention.

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