Skip to content

Baby's first 10 words

by Twila Tardif, Paul Fletcher, Weilan Liang, Zhixiang Zhang, Niko Kaciroti, Virginia A. Marchman
Developmental Psychology ()
Get full text at journal


Although there has been much debate over the content of children's first words, few large sample studies address this question for children at the very earliest stages of word learning. The authors report data from comparable samples of 265 English-, 336 Putonghua- (Mandarin), and 369 Cantonese-speaking 8- to 16-month-old infants whose caregivers completed MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories and reported them to produce between 1 and 10 words. Analyses of individual words indicated striking commonalities in the first words that children learn. However, substantive cross-linguistic differences appeared in the relative prevalence of common nouns, people terms, and verbs as well as in the probability that children produced even one of these word types when they had a total of 1-3, 4-6, or 7-10 words in their vocabularies. These data document cross-linguistic differences in the types of words produced even at the earliest stages of vocabulary learning and underscore the importance of parental input and cross-linguistic/cross-cultural variations in children's early word-learning.

Cite this document (BETA)

Authors on Mendeley

Readership Statistics

86 Readers on Mendeley
by Discipline
62% Psychology
22% Linguistics
5% Social Sciences
by Academic Status
29% Student > Ph. D. Student
14% Student > Bachelor
14% Student > Master
by Country
8% United States
1% Russia
1% Germany

Sign up today - FREE

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research. Learn more

  • All your research in one place
  • Add and import papers easily
  • Access it anywhere, anytime

Start using Mendeley in seconds!

Sign up & Download

Already have an account? Sign in