Cultural, linguistic, and developmental evidence was taken into consideration
in constructing the HCDI, a Hebrew adaptation of the
MCDI. The HCDI was then administered to a stratified sample of
Israeli mothers of 253 toddlers aged 1; 6 to 2; 0 (M = 1; 8·18). Hebrew
results are presented and compared with scores from the original MCDI
sample (Fenson, Dale, Reznick, Bates, Thal & Pethick, 1994). The
HCDI is a reliable and sensitive measure of lexical development and
emergent grammar, capturing wide variability among Israeli toddlers.
In comparison with English, the relation between vocabulary size and
age, as well as the shape of the growth curves for nouns, predicate terms,
and closed class words relative to size of lexicon, were strikingly similar.
These results indicate that conclusions concerning cross-linguistic
similarities can be best documented by using parallel methods of
measurement. The HCDI results support the claim that early lexical
development in Hebrew and in English follow remarkably similar
development patterns, despite the typological differences between the
two target languages.