Neighborhood Density and Word Production in Delayed and Advanced Learners

Jones, Sam D. and Brandt, Silke (2019) Neighborhood Density and Word Production in Delayed and Advanced Learners. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62 (8). pp. 2847-2854. ISSN 1092-4388

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Abstract

Purpose This study reexamines the claim that difficulty forming memories of words comprising uncommon sound sequences (i.e., low phonological neighborhood density words) is a determinant of delayed expressive vocabulary development (e.g., Stokes, 2014). Method We modeled communicative development inventory data from (N = 442) 18-month-old children, with expressive lexicon sizes between 0 and 517 words (Mdn = 84). We fitted a Bayesian regression model in which the production of each communicative inventory word (N = 680) by each child was predicted by interactions between that child's expressive lexicon size and the word's (a) phonological neighborhood density, (b) frequency in child-directed speech, (c) length, (d) babiness, and (e) concreteness. Results Children with larger expressive lexicons were more likely to produce words comprising uncommon sound sequences than age-matched children with smaller lexicons. However, the magnitude of the interaction between expressive lexicon size and phonological neighborhood density was modest relative to interactions between expressive lexicon size and word frequency, length, babiness, and concreteness. Conclusion Emphasis on a difficulty with the memorization of low–neighborhood density words as a determinant of slow vocabulary growth may be unwarranted, and the current evidence base in this direction is not robust enough to strongly support the development of possible interventions for late talkers.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3600/3616
Subjects:
ID Code:
136547
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
09 Sep 2019 11:05
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
18 Sep 2020 05:08