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Morphological awareness and vocabulary acquisition: A longitudinal examination of their relationship in English-speaking children

  • ERIN SPARKS (a1) and S. HÉLÈNE DEACON (a1)

Although a relationship between morphological awareness and vocabulary has been widely observed, questions remain about the direction of that relationship. This longitudinal study explores the temporal relationship between morphological awareness and vocabulary among monolingual English-speaking children. Participants were 100 children tested in Grades 2 and 3. We evaluated morphological awareness and vocabulary in both grades, along with phonological awareness, word reading, pseudoword reading, and nonverbal reasoning. Cross-lagged regression analyses with autoregressive controls assessed the temporal relationship between morphological awareness and vocabulary; morphological awareness at Grade 2 predicted change in vocabulary between Grades 2 and 3, but vocabulary did not predict change in morphological awareness. The results add to our understanding of the relationship between these two developing skills.

Corresponding author
ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Erin Sparks, Department of Psychology, Life Sciences Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada. E-mail:
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Applied Psycholinguistics
  • ISSN: 0142-7164
  • EISSN: 1469-1817
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