Lexical selectivity in Danish toddlers with cleft palate – Københavns Universitet

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Lexical selectivity in Danish toddlers with cleft palate

Researcher: Elisabeth Willadsen

Objective: To study if Danish toddlers with cleft palate display lexical selectivity in their early lexicon at 18 months of age.

Design: A cross-sectional study.

Participants: Thirty-four children with unilateral cleft lip and palate and 35 children without cleft palate, matched for gender and age.

Methods: All participants were video recorded at 18 months of age during play interaction with a parent. The video recordings were transcribed according to the IPA and an individual consonant inventory was established for each participant. The video recordings were also analysed with respect to word productions establishing an observed productive vocabulary size for each participant.

Results:  At 18 months of age Danish toddlers with cleft palate showed marked lexical selectivity in their early words. The distribution of consonant classes observed at 11 months of age in a previous study of the children with cleft palate was almost perfectly reflected in their early lexicon at 18 months. The early lexicon of children with cleft palate differed from the early lexicon of their non cleft peers.

Conclusions & Implications: Danish toddlers with cleft palate display lexical selectivity in the early lexicon as it has been described for English speaking toddlers with and without cleft palate, even though some qualitative differences were found.