The authors asked whether there is evidence to support the existence of the vocabulary spurt, an increase in the rate of word learning that is thought to occur during the 2nd year of life. Using longitudinal data from 38 children, they modeled the rate of word learning with two functions, one with an inflection point (logistic), which would indicate a spurt, and one without an inflection point (quadratic). Comparing the fits of these two functions using likelihood ratios, they found that just 5 children had a better logistic fit, which indicated that these children underwent a spurt. The implications for theories of cognitive and language development are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-632
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2004


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