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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Subject: Compiling/computing known lexicons by age/education
Question: One of my acquaintances has a PhD in Linguistics; however, he's not
available to answer my questions at this time.

How do linguists (and others?) find out how many words different
groups (distinguished by age and education) know?

Thank you!

Sincerely and respectfully,

Dave Tozier

Reply: One standardised test used for assessing child vocabularies is the CDI (MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories). It relies on parental/caregiver questionnaires about number and use of child words, and it is available in several languages.

The CDI site is here:


Reply From: Madalena Cruz-Ferreira      click here to access email
Date: 11-Jan-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Compiling/computing known lexicons by age/education    Nancy J. Frishberg     (11-Jan-2013)
  2. Re: Compiling/computing known lexicons by age/education    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (11-Jan-2013)

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