Multiple Influences on Vocabulary Acquisition: Parental Input Dominates

Dominic W. Massaro

How spoken language is acquired has been an active area of inquiry in linguistic, psychological, and speech science. New advances in this controversial field are promising given the recent accumulation of large databases of children’s speech understanding and production, as well as various properties of words. This paper explores the contribution of a variety of potential influences on vocabulary acquisition including difficulty of articulation, iconicity, log parental input frequency, lexical category, and imageability. The influence of difficulty of articulation, iconicity ratings, and imagery ratings decreased more or less linearly with increasing age. Lexical category effects were fairly small. Parental input in terms of child directed speech has by far the largest influence. Multiple regressions with these variables give a fairly complete account of spoken vocabulary acquisition. The increasing availability of large databases promises progress in this area of inquiry.

DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2016-37

Cite as

Massaro, D.W. (2016) Multiple Influences on Vocabulary Acquisition: Parental Input Dominates. Proc. Interspeech 2016, 878-882.

author={Dominic W. Massaro},
title={Multiple Influences on Vocabulary Acquisition: Parental Input Dominates},
booktitle={Interspeech 2016},