Lexical access and vocabulary development in very young bilinguals


  • Poulin-Dubois Diane
  • Bialystok Ellen
  • Blaye Agnès
  • Polonia Alexandra
  • Yott Jessica

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This study compares lexical access and expressive and receptive vocabulary development in monolingual and bilingual toddlers. More specifically, the link between vocabulary size, production of translation equivalents, and lexical access in bilingual infants was examined as well as the relationship between the Communicative Development Inventories and the Computerized Comprehension Task. Twenty-five bilingual and 18 monolingual infants aged 24 months participated in this study. The results revealed significant differences between monolingual and bilinguals' expressive vocabulary size in L1 but similar total vocabularies. Performance on the Computerized Comprehension Task revealed no differences between the two groups on measures of both reaction time and accuracy, and a strong convergent validity of the Computerized Comprehension Task with the Communicative Development Inventories was observed for both groups. Bilinguals with a higher proportion of translation equivalents in their expressive vocabulary showed faster access to words in the Computerized Comprehension Task.

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