An Initial Vocabulary for Nonspeaking Preschool Children Based on Developmental and Environmental Language Sources

Melanie Fried-Oken, Lillian More

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

A single word composite vocabulary list is presented for preliterate, preschool children with severe expressive communication disabilities. The proposed lexicon was formed from single words collected from the following sources: the word lists generated by parents and clinicians of 15 young, nonspeaking children; language samples elicited from 30 normally developing peers matched for age and gender; and word lists generated by parents of the speaking children. Database comparisons for word commonality and frequency of occurrence were performed. There were only 2,114 word types identified from 36,000 total words generated. No one word appeared on every list. Ninety-four percent of the words generated by the 90 sources were repeated by at least two sources, indicating that the vocabulary pool for preschool augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) users may be a small, manageable set. The most common word, mom, appeared on 85 of the 90 vocabulary lists. Only 46 words were common to half of the vocabulary sources. The low agreements across word lists suggest that initial lexical selection is, indeed, a highly individualized task. The commonly occurring words presented here might best be used as a source list for initial word selection. Semantic analysis of vocabulary source lists is recommended as the next step in AAC lexical selection research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-56
Number of pages16
JournalAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

Keywords

  • core lexicon
  • expressive communication
  • language development
  • preschool children
  • vocabulary selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing

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