Relationship between a Two-Year-Old’s Word Production Frequency and General Word Production Frequency of Turkish Language

Begum Erten

This project was presented in 16th International Conference on Turkish Linguistics, held in Ankara, Turkey, September 18-21, 2012. Click here for the poster.

Words per token-types are not equally distributed on young children’s vocabulary at the early stages of language development (Gathercole & Hoff 2007). Word order may be a factor in early learner’s uneven word distribution. For example, in subject-verb-object (SVO) languages like English, nouns are predominant in young children’s vocabulary compared with subject-object-verb (SOV) languages in which verbs are predominant (Brown 1998). The goal of the present study is to investigate the correspondence between a two-year-old’s word usage frequency and the word frequency in the Turkish language as reported in the Written Turkish Word Frequency Dictionary (Göz 2003). The Pearson correlation analysis was used to observe whether there is an overlap between the child’s word production frequency rates and the general word frequency rates. Recordings were obtained from a two-year-old’s conversations between ages of 1.6 – 2.4. The child’s word frequency rates were quantified via counting the number of each produced word (including the inflected forms). Unlike the previous findings (Özbaydar 1970 cited in Yapici 2004), a noun predominant data was not obtained in this study that distribution of verbs and nouns were balanced in subject’s mental lexicon. When the data was separated into verbs and nouns, a relationship was observed between the two frequency values for verbs but not for nouns.