Neighborhood density and word frequency in child German

Aleksandra Zaba, Thomas Schmidt


High word frequency and neighborhood density contribute to the accuracy and speed of word production in English adults (e.g., Vitevitch & Sommers 2003), and characterize early words in child English (e.g., Storkel 2004). The present study investigated a speech corpus of child German (ages 2;00-3;00) to further the understanding of the influence of frequency and density on production. Results for four children suggest that, contrary to English, words produced early are not from denser neighborhoods in an adult lexicon than later words. As in English, frequent words are produced before less frequent words. Implications on theory and methodology are discussed.

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