In general terms, vocabulary is defined as the set of words of a language known by an individual. To know a word involves not only mastering low level features of recognition of the auditory (i.e., phonetic/phonological/morphological) and written (i.e., orthographic) forms of the word but also high-level processes related to syntactic structures (i.e., words organized into sentences) and semantic associations (i.e., associations based on word meanings or word relations). The vocabulary of a language is organized into semantic relations that group words into larger structures which are known as lexical fields or word fields. Vocabulary knowledge is crucial both in language acquisition and language development. In fact, language production and language comprehension are not possible apart from vocabulary knowledge. This entry examines productive and receptive ...

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