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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach addresses the question: "How can we unravel the evolution of language, given that there is no direct evidence about it?"


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Academic Paper


Title: Gender differences in language development in French Canadian children between 8 and 30 months of age
Author: Caroline Bouchard
Institution: Université du Québec à Montréal
Author: Natacha Trudeau
Institution: Université de Montréal
Author: Ann Sutton
Institution: University of Ottawa
Author: Marie-Claude Boudreault
Institution: Université de Montréal
Author: Joane Deneault
Institution: Université du Québec à Rimouski
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: French
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to examine the language of girls and boys between 8 and 30 months of age, using the Quebec French version of The MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories. The findings from this parental report measure confirm those of earlier research, which showed the linguistic superiority of girls over boys at a young age. More specifically, the results show that girls produce significantly more words than boys; their utterances contain a greater number of grammatical forms, and are more complex syntactically. On the qualitative level, the data illustrate distinctive characteristics associated with gender in the acquisition of the first 100 words. These findings suggest that caution is necessary when assessing young children to interpret performance in light of factors that may contribute to it, including gender. These results are discussed in light of whether separate normative data are warranted for young boys and girls learning Canadian French.

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This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 30, Issue 4, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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