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German Communicative Development Inventory

An Adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory for Toddlers

Gisela Szagun, Barbara Stumper and Satyam Antonio Schramm

This research presents a German adaptation of the American MacArthur-Bates Commmunicative Inventory (CDI) for toddlers, with the addition of a detailed inflectional morphology scale. The name of the instrument is FRAKIS (Fragebogen zur frühkindlichen Sprachentwicklung). The research presents the first norm data of early language development for German-speaking children. Results of the study confirm the enormous variability in early language development found in other languages for German. There was also a strong relation between lexical and grammatical development, including between specific lexical and grammatical areas. The instrument FRAKIS is an excellent tool for assessing language level in young children, be it for research purposes or in clinical settings.
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The research to be reported here was carried out between 2005 and 2008 at the Institute of Psychology – now part of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences – at Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany. The empirical data were collected in collaboration with paediatric practices in different towns in Germany and with nurseries in Oldenburg. The research was supported financially by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Science Foundation), project nos. Sz 41/-11 and Sz 41/11-2.

Carrying out the empirical study required a considerable amount of patience and organisation. The following paediatric practices took part: in Oldenburg: Dr. Faubel and Mr. Vogt; Dr. Mallien and Dr. Türk-Kraetzer; Dr. Wegner; in Hude: Dr. Onken; in Wildeshausen: Dipl. Med. Rüger and Dr. Rose; in Bad Zwischenahn: Dr. Tanner-Hillebrand; in Wardenburg: Dr. Warmuth; in Nordenham: Dr. Kaethner and Dr. Hasskamp; in Bremen: Dr. Fröhlingsdorf; Mr. Springmann, Dr. Crasemann and Dr. Hansen-Crasemann; Dr. Dehmel, Herr Hesse, Dr. Guenther; in Essen: Mr. Kölker; Dr. Mönninghoff and partner; Dr. Strahl; in Hannover: Dr. Besch and Dr. Welter. We would like to thank the paediatricians and practice assistants. Special thanks go to Dr. Faubel who assisted us in contacting paediatric practices. We are also grateful for the keen interest paediatricians all over Germany expressed for our study. We would also like to thank the “Verein für Kinder e.V.” and their nurseries in Oldenburg for supporting our study and assisting us in contacting parents.

Above all, we would like to...

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