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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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9 Discussion

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In this chapter we will discuss the results of our norming study. We will structure the discussion around the topics of the different chapters. Under each heading we will start the discussion with a brief summary of the results of the topic.

9.1 Developmental trends and variability

In this study we examined the course of early language development in German-speaking children. The period covered is between the ages of 18 and 30 months. This is the period during which children, typically, move from the use of single words to the use of grammar. The present results provide the first normative data on the typical course and extent of variability in lexical and grammatical development in German-speaking children between 18 and 30 months. The observed variability in the growth of vocabulary and grammar is so large that children at the same language level can differ by up to 11 months of age. This encompasses those 80% of the children who lie between the 10th and 90th percentile of the distribution, not counting children at the extreme ends.

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