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Late Talkers

Late talkers is a term used to refer to 2-year-olds who have delayed expressive language. Interest in this group stems from research in the late 1980s and 1990s by Leslie Rescorla, Donna Thal, and Rhea Paul, which sought to determine the prognosis for 2-year-olds who were late in acquiring their first words. Since this time, numerous studies have examined the lexical, morphosyntactic, and phonological characteristics of late talkers; the risk factors associated with being a late talker; and the long-term outcomes of this group.


A late talker is commonly defined as a 2-year-old child who has a productive vocabulary of fewer than 50 words and no two-word combinations, or who falls below the 10th percentile on a parent-report inventory such as the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories. ...

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