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Profiling vocabulary acquisition in Irish*


Investigations into early vocabulary development, including the timing of the acquisition of nouns, verbs and closed-class words, have produced conflicting results, both within and across languages. Studying vocabulary development in Irish can contribute to this area, as it has potentially informative features such as a VSO word order, and semantically rich prepositions. This study used a parent report adapted for Irish, to measure vocabulary development longitudinally for children aged between 1 ; 04 and 3 ; 04. The findings indicated that the children learned closed-class words at relatively smaller vocabulary sizes compared to children acquiring other languages, and had a strong preference for nouns.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Ciara O'Toole, Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences, University College Cork Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, College Road, Cork, Ireland. tel: 00353 21 4901539. e-mail:
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The authors would like to acknowledge the children and their families who so kindly agreed to take part in the study.

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Journal of Child Language
  • ISSN: 0305-0009
  • EISSN: 1469-7602
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-child-language
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