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University of Massachusetts Amherst

Speech and Hearing Science

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Cross-Language Synonyms In The Lexicons Of Bilingual Infants: One Language Or Two?, Barbara Zurer Pearson, Sylvia C. Fernandez, D.Kimbrough Oller Jan 1995

Cross-Language Synonyms In The Lexicons Of Bilingual Infants: One Language Or Two?, Barbara Zurer Pearson, Sylvia C. Fernandez, D.Kimbrough Oller

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This study tests the widely-cited claim from Volterra & Taeschner (1978), which is reinforced by Clark's Principle of Contrast (1987), that young simultaneous bilingual children reject cross-language synonyms in their earliest lexicons. The rejection of translation equivalents is taken by Volterra & Taeschner as support for the idea that the bilingual child possesses a single-language system which includes elements from both languages. We examine first the accuracy of the empirical claim and then its adequacy as support for the argument that bilingual children do not have independent lexical systems in each language. The vocabularies of 27 developing bilinguals were recorded at varying intervals between ages 0;8 and 2;6 using the MacArthur CDI, a standardized parent report form in English and Spanish. The two single-language vocabularies of each bilingual child were compared to determine how many pairs of translation equivalents (TEs) were reported for each child at different stages of development. TEs were observed for all children but one, with an average of 30% of all words coded in the two languages, both at early stages (in vocabularies of 2-12 words) and later (up to 500 words). Thus, Volterra & Taeschner's empirical claim was not upheld. Further ...


Patterns Of Interaction In The Lexical Development In Two Languages Of Bilingual Infants, Barbara Zurer Pearson, Sylvia C. Fernandez Jan 1994

Patterns Of Interaction In The Lexical Development In Two Languages Of Bilingual Infants, Barbara Zurer Pearson, Sylvia C. Fernandez

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We investigated the extent to which bilingual children follow the same patterns and timetable of lexical development as monolinguals. For a group of 20 simultaneous bilingual (English-Spanish) infants, ages 10 to 30 months, we looked at the patterns of growth in one language in relation to growth in the other and also with respect to growth in both languages combined. The MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories (CDI), standardized parent report forms in Spanish and English, provided measures of lexical growth in two languages at varying intervals within the age range. We plotted the two single-language measures, as well as Total and ...


Lexical Development In Bilingual Infants And Toddlers: Comparison To Monolingual Norms, Barbara Zurer Pearson, Sylvia C. Fernandez, D.Kimbrough Oller Jan 1993

Lexical Development In Bilingual Infants And Toddlers: Comparison To Monolingual Norms, Barbara Zurer Pearson, Sylvia C. Fernandez, D.Kimbrough Oller

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This study compares lexical development in a sample of 25 simultaneous bilingual and 35 monolingual children for whom semilongitudinal data were collected between the ages of 8 and 30 months. A standardized parent report form, the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory (1989), was used to assess the children's receptive and productive vocabulary in English and/or Spanish. A methodology was devised to assess the degree of overlap between the bilingual children's lexical knowledge in one language and their knowledge in the other. Using the measures presented here, there was no statistical basis for concluding that the bilingual children were ...