General programme, activity sheet

Wednesday 7 September, 2016 Poster
Developmental trends, age and gender differences in toddlers’ communicative development: A study in European Portuguese
Speaker: Irene Cadime, Universidade do Minho

Authors: Carla Silva, Irene Cadime, Iolanda Ribeiro, Sandra Santos, Ana Lúcia Santos, & Fernanda Leopoldina Viana


In this paper, we present the results from a large-scale study on toddlers’ (aged 16 to 30 months) language acquisition in European Portuguese. The main aims of this study were: (1) to investigate the developmental trends, age and gender differences in six dimensions of the toddlers’ communicative development, including one lexical measure (production of words) and five measures of morpho-syntactic development (production of regular suffixes, irregular suffixes, over-regularizations, mean length of utterances and sentence complexity); (2) to examine the interrelationship between these dimensions. Toddlers’ lexical and grammatical competences were assessed using the European Portuguese version of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory: Words and Sentences, which was filled by their parents. The parents´ reports of the language competences of 3012 children, aged between 16 and 30 months, were collected. The questionnaire revealed adequate internal consistency as measured by Cronbach’s alpha. Results indicate an increase in the lexical size and in all five measures of grammatical development across age groups. A main effect of gender was found for lexical size, production of regular and irregular suffixes, production of over-regularizations and sentence complexity, with girls obtaining overall higher scores than boys. All lexical and grammatical development measures are positively correlated, even after controlling for age and gender effects. These findings are discussed in terms of its consistency with the ones obtained for other languages.
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Coffee break and poster session
Place: Hall First floor area A

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