The spontaneous utterances produced by 492 Cantonese-speaking children aged 36-60 months in 30-minute toy play contexts were collected. The incidence and percentage of different lexical classes, the ratio of noun and verb types and tokens were calculated. A statistically significant predominance of verb usage was found in the expressive utterances of the children. No similar predominance was found for nouns. Linguistic, cultural and contextual variables possibly underlying these outcomes are explored and discussed.
- expressive vocabulary
- early childhood