Estimating the Lexical Breadth and Depth in Bilingual Indian Children Aged between 5 and 11 Years of Age

Priya Pauline Rego, Sudhin Karuppali, Jayashree S. Bhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives  Lexical breadth of knowledge is the quantity of words that the individual knows with regard to vocabulary size of the learner; while lexical depth is the learner's knowledge and mastery level of various semantic relations of a given word. Both measures have been used in the assessment of speaking/writing skills of first (L1) and second (L2) language users. The current study aims to explore the lexical knowledge of typically developing school going bilingual Indian children. Methods  Seventy-two Konkani (L1) and English (L2) speaking children (between 5 and 11 years of age) were recruited in the study. The study was performed in three phases. Phase 1 comprised of developing the experimental tasks (lexical breadth and lexical depth); phase 2 included the data collection; and phase 3 focused on data and statistical analysis. Mean and standard deviation of the total number of words and total number of different words were analyzed. Two-way repeated measures analysis of variance test was done to assess the level of significance (p < 0.05) across the groups for both tasks. Paired t -test was done to assess the interaction effect between age and language. Results  The results indicated an overall increase in lexical breadth and depth across age for L1 and L2. The interaction between the two languages has been discussed in detail. Conclusion  The findings of this study may help pave way toward future explorations to address issues pertaining to the complex interaction of L1 and L2 languages in bilinguals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E47-E54
JournalJournal of Child Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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