Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Virginia C. Mueller Gathercole

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Shannon Pruden

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Feryal Yavas

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Bilingualism, Vocabulary, CDI, Portuguese, Parent report

Date of Defense



This study investigated the vocabulary abilities of bilingual Portuguese-English-speaking children compared to their monolingual peers. Parental Report Surveys were conducted using the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDIs), which are standardized norms for vocabulary assessment. Electronic versions of the “Words and Sentences CDI” in English and Brazilian-Portuguese were used in order to assess the vocabulary of children between the ages of 16 and 36 months. Parents answered the surveys online.

Different vocabulary score types were used in order to evaluate the children’s lexicons: The Total Vocabulary score, the Conceptual Vocabulary scores, and the Total Modified Vocabulary. The analyses of the results showed that bilinguals had fewer words than the monolinguals in each language separately, but no significant differences between bilinguals and monolinguals when the two languages of the bilinguals were compared together to the monolinguals'. An analysis of cognates and translation equivalents showed that cognates help with the acquisition of words.





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