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Adolescent Language Development and Use

Many years ago, it was widely believed that language development was virtually complete by the time a child reached 5 or 6 years of age and that further growth in language beyond those years consisted mainly of refinements in the use of grammar and the addition of school-related vocabulary words. In the 1970s, however, researchers in the United States began publishing studies of language development in older children and adolescents, reporting that substantial growth occurred well beyond the preschool years in areas such as the use of complex syntax in spoken and written language.

Since those early days, researchers from around the world have continued to study later language development with intensity, reporting that substantial changes occur not only in syntax and vocabulary but also in ...

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