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VocabularyWikipedia

Vocabulary
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Aperson'svocabularyisthesetofwordswithinalanguagethatarefamiliartothatperson.Avocabulary
usuallydevelopswithage,andservesasausefulandfundamentaltoolforcommunicationandacquiring
knowledge.Acquiringanextensivevocabularyisoneofthelargestchallengesinlearningasecondlanguage.

Contents
1 Definitionandusage
1.1 Productiveandreceptive
1.2 Degreeofknowledge
1.3 Depthofknowledge
1.4 Definitionofword
2 Typesofvocabulary
2.1 Readingvocabulary
2.2 Listeningvocabulary
2.3 Speakingvocabulary
2.4 Writingvocabulary
3 Focalvocabulary
4 Vocabularygrowth
5 Theimportanceofavocabulary
6 Nativeandforeignlanguagevocabularysize
6.1 Nativelanguagevocabularysize
6.2 Foreignlanguagevocabulary
6.2.1 Theeffectsofvocabularysizeonlanguagecomprehension
6.2.1.1 Secondlanguagevocabularyacquisition
6.2.1.2 Memorization
6.2.1.3 TheKeywordMethod
6.3 Wordlists
7 Seealso
8 Footnotes
9 References
10 Externallinks

Definitionandusage
Vocabularyiscommonlydefinedas"allthewordsknownandusedbyaparticularperson".[1]Knowingaword,
however,isnotassimpleasmerelybeingabletorecognizeoruseit.Thereareseveralaspectsofword
knowledgethatareusedtomeasurewordknowledge.
Variability:ishowspreadoutagrouporsetofnumbersare

Productiveandreceptive
Thefirstmajordistinctionthatmustbemadewhenevaluatingwordknowledgeiswhethertheknowledgeis
productive(alsocalledachieve)orreceptive(alsocalledreceive)evenwithinthoseopposingcategories,there
isoftennocleardistinction.Wordsthataregenerallyunderstoodwhenheardorreadorseenconstitutea
person'sreceptivevocabulary.Thesewordsmayrangefromwellknowntobarelyknown(seedegreeof
knowledgebelow).Aperson'sreceptivevocabularyisthelargerofthetwo.Forexample,althoughayoung
childmaynotyetbeabletospeak,write,orsign,heorshemaybeabletofollowsimplecommandsandappear
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tounderstandagoodportionofthelanguagetowhichheorsheisexposed.Inthiscase,thechild'sreceptive
vocabularyislikelytens,ifnothundredsofwords,buthisorheractivevocabularyiszero.Whenthatchild
learnstospeakorsign,however,thechild'sactivevocabularybeginstoincrease.Itisalsopossibleforthe
productivevocabularytobelargerthanthereceptivevocabulary,forexampleinasecondlanguagelearnerwho
haslearnedwordsthroughstudyratherthanexposure,andcanproducethem,buthasdifficultyrecognizing
theminconversation.
Productivevocabulary,therefore,generallyreferstowordsthatcanbeproducedwithinanappropriatecontext
andmatchtheintendedmeaningofthespeakerorsigner.Aswithreceptivevocabulary,however,thereare
manydegreesatwhichaparticularwordmaybeconsideredpartofanactivevocabulary.Knowinghowto
pronounce,sign,orwriteaworddoesnotnecessarilymeanthatthewordthathasbeenusedcorrectlyor
accuratelyreflectstheintendedmessagebutitdoesreflectaminimalamountofproductiveknowledge.

Degreeofknowledge
Withinthereceptiveproductivedistinctionliesarangeofabilitiesthatareoftenreferredtoasdegreeof
knowledge.Thissimplyindicatesthatawordgraduallyentersaperson'svocabularyoveraperiodoftimeas
moreaspectsofwordknowledgearelearnt.Roughly,thesestagescouldbedescribedas:
1.Neverencounteredtheword.
2.Heardtheword,butcannotdefineit.
3.Recognizethewordduetocontextortoneofvoice.
4.Abletousethewordandunderstandthegeneraland/orintendedmeaning,butcannotclearlyexplainit
5.Fluentwiththeworditsuseanddefinition.

Depthofknowledge
Thedifferingdegreesofwordknowledgeimplyagreaterdepthofknowledge,buttheprocessismorecomplex
thanthat.Therearemanyfacetstoknowingaword,someofwhicharenothierarchicalsotheiracquisition
doesnotnecessarilyfollowalinearprogressionsuggestedbydegreeofknowledge.Severalframeworksof
wordknowledgehavebeenproposedtobetteroperationalisethisconcept.Onesuchframeworkincludesnine
facets:
1.orthographywrittenform
2.phonologyspokenform
3.referencemeaning
4.semanticsconceptandreference
5.registerappropriacyofuse
6.collocationlexicalneighbours
7.wordassociations
8.syntaxgrammaticalfunction
9.morphologywordparts

Definitionofword
Wordscanbedefinedinvariousways,andestimatesofvocabularysizedifferdependingonthedefinitionused.
Themostcommondefinitionisthatofalemma(theuninflectedordictionaryformthisincludeswalk,butnot
walks,walkedorwalking).Mostofthetimelemmasdonotincludepropernouns(namesofpeople,places,
companies,...).Anotherdefinitionoftenusedinresearchofvocabularysizeisthatofwordfamily.Theseareall
thewordsthatcanbederivedfromagroundword(e.g.,thewordseffortless,effortlessly,effortful,effortfully
areallpartofthewordfamilyeffort).Estimatesofvocabularysizerangefromashighas200thousandtoas
lowas10thousand,dependingonthedefinitionused.[2]
vocabularyisataetaewordwhichmeansiflushmoko.

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Typesofvocabulary
Listedinorderofmostampletomostlimited:[3][4]

Readingvocabulary
Aliterateperson'svocabularyisallthewordsheorshecanrecognizewhenreading.Thisisgenerallythe
largesttypeofvocabularysimplybecauseareadertendstobeexposedtomorewordsbyreadingthanby
listening.

Listeningvocabulary
Aperson'slisteningvocabularyisallthewordsheorshecanrecognizewhenlisteningtospeech.Peoplemay
stillunderstandwordstheywerenotexposedtobeforeusingcuessuchastone,gestures,thetopicofdiscussion
andthesocialcontextoftheconversation.

Speakingvocabulary
Aperson'sspeakingvocabularyisallthewordsheorsheusesinspeech.Itislikelytobeasubsetofthe
listeningvocabulary.Duetothespontaneousnatureofspeech,wordsareoftenmisused.Thismisusethough
slightandunintentionalmaybecompensatedbyfacialexpressions,toneofvoice.

Writingvocabulary
Wordsareusedinvariousformsofwritingfromformalessaystosocialmediafeeds.Manywrittenwordsdo
notcommonlyappearinspeech.Writersgenerallyusealimitedsetofwordswhencommunicating:for
example
ifthereareanumberofsynonyms,awriterwillhavehisownpreferenceastowhichofthemtouse.
heisunlikelytousetechnicalvocabularyrelatingtoasubjectinwhichhehasnoknowledgeorinterest.

Focalvocabulary
Focalvocabularyisaspecializedsetoftermsanddistinctionsthatisparticularlyimportanttoacertaingroup:
thosewithaparticularfocusofexperienceoractivity.Alexicon,orvocabulary,isalanguage'sdictionary:its
setofnamesforthings,events,andideas.Somelinguistsbelievethatlexiconinfluencespeople'sperceptionof
things,theSapirWhorfhypothesis.Forexample,theNuerofSudanhaveanelaboratevocabularytodescribe
cattle.TheNuerhavedozensofnamesforcattlebecauseofthecattle'sparticularhistories,economies,and
environments.Thiskindofcomparisonhaselicitedsomelinguisticcontroversy,aswiththenumberof"Eskimo
wordsforsnow".Englishspeakerswithrelevantspecialisedknowledgecanalsodisplayelaborateandprecise
vocabulariesforsnowandcattlewhentheneedarises.[5][6]

Vocabularygrowth
Duringitsinfancy,achildinstinctivelybuildsavocabulary.Infantsimitatewordsthattheyhearandthen
associatethosewordswithobjectsandactions.Thisisthelisteningvocabulary.Thespeakingvocabulary
follows,asachild'sthoughtsbecomemorereliantonhis/herabilitytoselfexpresswithoutrelyingongestures
orbabbling.Oncethereadingandwritingvocabulariesstarttodevelop,throughquestionsandeducation,the
childstartstodiscovertheanomaliesandirregularitiesoflanguage.

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Infirstgrade,achildwhocanreadlearnsabouttwiceasmanywordsasonewhocannot.Generally,thisgap
doesnotnarrowlater.Thisresultsinawiderangeofvocabularybyagefiveorsix,whenanEnglishspeaking
childwillhavelearnedabout1500words.[7]
Vocabularygrowsthroughoutourentirelife.Betweentheagesof20and60,peoplelearnsome6,000more
lemmas,oroneeveryotherday.[8]Anaverage20yearoldknows42,000wordscomingfrom11,100word
familiesanaverage60yearoldknows48,200lemmascomingfrom13,400wordfamilies.Peopleexpand
theirvocabulariesbye.g.reading,playingwordgames,andparticipatinginvocabularyrelatedprograms.
Exposuretotraditionalprintmediateachescorrectspellingandvocabulary,whileexposuretotextmessaging
leadstomorerelaxedwordacceptabilityconstraints.[9]

Theimportanceofavocabulary
Anextensivevocabularyaidsexpressionandcommunication.
Vocabularysizehasbeendirectlylinkedtoreadingcomprehension.[10]
Linguisticvocabularyissynonymouswiththinkingvocabulary.[10]
Apersonmaybejudgedbyothersbasedonhisorhervocabulary.
Wilkins(1972)oncesaid,"Withoutgrammar,verylittlecanbeconveyed,withoutvocabulary,nothing
canbeconveyed."[11]

Nativeandforeignlanguagevocabularysize
Nativelanguagevocabularysize
Nativespeakers'vocabulariesvarywidelywithinalanguage,andaredependentonthelevelofthespeaker's
education.A2016studyshowsthat20yearoldEnglishnativespeakersrecognizeonaverage42,000lemmas,
rangingfrom27,100forthelowest5%ofthepopulationto51,700lemmasforthehighest5%.Theselemmas
comefrom6,100wordfamiliesinthelowest5%ofthepopulationand14,900wordfamiliesinthehighest5%.
60yearoldsknowonaverage6,000lemmasmore.[12]

Foreignlanguagevocabulary
Theeffectsofvocabularysizeonlanguagecomprehension
Theknowledgeofthewordsderivingfromthe3000mostfrequentEnglishwordfamiliesandthe5000most
frequentwordsprovidesacomprehensionof95%ofworduse,[13]andknowledgeof5000wordfamiliesis
necessaryfor99.9%wordcoverage.
Secondlanguagevocabularyacquisition

Learningvocabularyisoneofthefirststepsinlearningasecondlanguage,butalearnerneverfinishes
vocabularyacquisition.Whetherinone'snativelanguageorasecondlanguage,theacquisitionofnew
vocabularyisanongoingprocess.Therearemanytechniquesthathelponeacquirenewvocabulary.
Memorization

Althoughmemorizationcanbeseenastediousorboring,associatingonewordinthenativelanguagewiththe
correspondingwordinthesecondlanguageuntilmemorizedisconsideredoneofthebestmethodsof
vocabularyacquisition.Bythetimestudentsreachadulthood,theygenerallyhavegatheredanumberof
personalizedmemorizationmethods.Althoughmanyarguethatmemorizationdoesnottypicallyrequirethe
complexcognitiveprocessingthatincreasesretention(SagarraandAlba,2006),[14]itdoestypicallyrequirea
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largeamountofrepetition,andspacedrepetitionwithflashcardsisanestablishedmethodformemorization,
particularlyusedforvocabularyacquisitionincomputerassistedlanguagelearning.Othermethodstypically
requiremoretimeandlongertorecall.
Somewordscannotbeeasilylinkedthroughassociationorothermethods.Whenawordinthesecondlanguage
isphonologicallyorvisuallysimilartoawordinthenativelanguage,oneoftenassumestheyalsosharesimilar
meanings.Thoughthisisfrequentlythecase,itisnotalwaystrue.Whenfacedwithafalsefriend,
memorizationandrepetitionarethekeystomastery.Ifasecondlanguagelearnerreliessolelyonword
associationstolearnnewvocabulary,thatpersonwillhaveaverydifficulttimemasteringfalsefriends.When
largeamountsofvocabularymustbeacquiredinalimitedamountoftime,whenthelearnerneedstorecall
informationquickly,whenwordsrepresentabstractconceptsoraredifficulttopictureinamentalimage,or
whendiscriminatingbetweenfalsefriends,rotememorizationisthemethodtouse.Aneuralnetworkmodelof
novelwordlearningacrossorthographies,accountingforL1specificmemorizationabilitiesofL2learnershas
recentlybeenintroduced(HadzibeganovicandCannas,2009).[15]
TheKeywordMethod

Oneusefulmethodofbuildingvocabularyinasecondlanguageisthekeywordmethod.Iftimeisavailableor
onewantstoemphasizeafewkeywords,onecancreatemnemonicdevicesorwordassociations.Although
thesestrategiestendtotakelongertoimplementandmaytakelongerinrecollection,theycreatenewor
unusualconnectionsthatcanincreaseretention.Thekeywordmethodrequiresdeepercognitiveprocessing,
thusincreasingthelikelihoodofretention(SagarraandAlba,2006).[14]ThismethodusesfitswithinPaivio's
(1986)[16]dualcodingtheorybecauseitusesbothverbalandimagememorysystems.However,thismethodis
bestforwordsthatrepresentconcreteandimageablethings.Abstractconceptsorwordsthatdonotbringa
distinctimagetomindaredifficulttoassociate.Inaddition,studieshaveshownthatassociativevocabulary
learningismoresuccessfulwithyoungerstudents(SagarraandAlba,2006).[14]Olderstudentstendtorelyless
oncreatingwordassociationstoremembervocabulary.

Wordlists
Severalwordlistshavebeendevelopedtoprovidepeoplewithalimitedvocabularyeitherforthepurposeof
rapidlanguageproficiencyorforeffectivecommunication.TheseincludeBasicEnglish(850words),Special
English(1500words)andOxford3000(http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/oxford3000/).The
SwadeshlistwasmadeforinvestigationinLinguistics.

Seealso
DifferencesbetweenAmericanandBritishEnglish(vocabulary)
Languageproficiency:theabilityofanindividualtospeakorperforminanacquiredlanguage
LongestwordinEnglish:lotsofthelongestwordsintheEnglishlanguage

Footnotes
1.CambridgeAdvancedLearnersDictionary(http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=88554&dict=CALD)
2.BrysbaertM,StevensM,ManderaPandKeuleersE(2016)HowManyWordsDoWeKnow?PracticalEstimatesof
VocabularySizeDependentonWordDefinition,theDegreeofLanguageInputandtheParticipantsAge.Front.
Psychol.7:1116.doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01116[1](http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01116/f
ull)
3.Barnhart,ClarenceL.(1968).
4.TheWorldBookDictionary.ClarenceL.Barnhart.1968Edition.PublishedbyThorndikeBarnhart,Chicago,Illinois.
5.Miller(1989)
6.Lenkeit
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7."Vocabulary".SebastianWren,Ph.D.BalancedReading.comhttp://www.balancedreading.com/vocabulary.html
8.[2](http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01116/full)
9.JoanH.Lee(2011).Whatdoestxtingdo2language:Theinfluencesofexposuretomessagingandprintmediaon
acceptabilityconstraints(PDF)(M.A.).UniversityofCalgary.Retrieved20November2013.Laysummary.
10.Stahl,StevenA.VocabularyDevelopment.Cambridge:BrooklineBooks,1999.p.3."TheCognitiveFoundationsof
LearningtoRead:AFramework",SouthwestEducationalDevelopmentLaboratory,[3](http://www.sedl.org/reading/f
ramework/research.html#reading),p.14.
11.Wilkins,DavidA.(1972).LinguisticsinLanguageTeaching.Cambridge,MA:MITPress,111.
12.BrysbaertM,StevensM,ManderaPandKeuleersE(2016)HowManyWordsDoWeKnow?PracticalEstimatesof
VocabularySizeDependentonWordDefinition,theDegreeofLanguageInputandtheParticipantsAge.Front.
Psychol.7:1116.doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01116[4](http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01116/f
ull)
13."LexicalCoverageofSpokenDiscourse",AdolphsandSchmitt(2003).
http://applij.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/4/425.full.pdf+html
14.Sagarra,NuriaandAlba,Matthew.(2006)."TheKeyIsintheKeyword:L2VocabularyLearningMethodsWith
BeginningLearnersofSpanish".TheModernLanguageJournal,90,ii.pp.228243.
15.HadzibeganovicTarikandCannas,SergioA.(2009)."ATsallis'statisticsbasedneuralnetworkmodelfornovelword
learning".PhysicaA,388,pp.732746.
16.Paivio,A.(1986).MentalRepresentations:ADualCodingApproach.NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress.

References
Barnhart,ClarenceLewis(ed.)(1968).TheWorldBookDictionary.Chicago:ThorndikeBarnhart,
OCLC437494(https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/437494)
BrysbaertM,StevensM,ManderaPandKeuleersE(2016)HowManyWordsDoWeKnow?Practical
EstimatesofVocabularySizeDependentonWordDefinition,theDegreeofLanguageInputandthe
ParticipantsAge.Front.Psychol.7:1116.doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01116.
Flynn,JamesRobert(2008).Wherehavealltheliberalsgone?:race,class,andidealsinAmerica.
CambridgeUniversityPress1stedition.ISBN9780521494311OCLC231580885(https://www.worl
dcat.org/oclc/231580885)
Lenkeit,RobertaEdwards(2007)IntroducingculturalanthropologyBoston:McGrawHill(3rd.ed.)
OCLC64230435(https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/64230435)
Liu,NaandI.S.P.Nation."Factorsaffectingguessingvocabularyincontext"(http://ac.aua.am/lena_sim
onyan/Public/RELC%20journal/Liu%20Na,1985.Factors%20Affecting%20Guessing%20Vocabulary%20
in%20Context.pdf),RELCJournal,1985,161,pp.3342.doi:10.1177/003368828501600103(https://dx.
doi.org/10.1177%2F003368828501600103)
Miller,BarbaraD.(1999).CulturalAnthropology(4thed.)Boston:AllynandBacon,p.315
OCLC39101950(https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/39101950)
Schonell,SirFredJoyce,IvorG.MeddletonandB.A.Shaw,Astudyoftheoralvocabularyofadults:
aninvestigationintothespokenvocabularyoftheAustralianworker,UniversityofQueenslandPress,
Brisbane,1956.OCLC606593777(https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/606593777)
West,Michael(1953).AgeneralservicelistofEnglishwords,withsemanticfrequenciesanda
supplementarywordlistforthewritingofpopularscienceandtechnologyLondon,NewYork:
Longman,GreenOCLC318957(https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/318957)

Externallinks
OpenDictionaryofEnglish(ODE)(https://www.learnthat.org/dic
Lookupvocabularyin
tionary)Multimediadictionarydevelopedforlearning
Wiktionary,thefree
vocabulary.Offersaudiofromaroundtheworld,images,video
dictionary.
clips,usagesamples,multipledefinitions,correlations,idioms
andmuchmore.ODEisalsopartofLearnThatWord'svocabularyquizzes.
Bibliographyonvocabulary(http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/resources/vocrefs/bibliography.aspx)I.S.P.
Nation'sextensivecollectionofresearchonvocabulary.
VocabularyAcquisitionResearchGroupArchive(http://www.lognostics.co.uk/varga/)Anextensive
bibliographicdatabaseonvocabularyacquisitionmaintainedbyPaulMearaandtheVocabulary
AcquisitionResearchGroupatSwanseaUniversity.
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VocabularySize.com(http://my.vocabularysize.com)afreewebbasedservicethatimplementstheI.S.P.
Nation'sEnglishVocabularySizeTestinanonlineformat.
Vocabularytest(http://vocabulary.ugent.be/)afreefourminuteEnglishvocabularysizetest,accurate
within10%,onwhichBrysbaertetal.'s(2016)estimatesofvocabularysizearebased.
TestYourVocab.com(http://testyourvocab.com)afreefiveminuteEnglishvocabularysizetest,
accuratewithin10%
WordsinaSentence.com(http://wordsinasentence.com/vocabularywordlist/)afreeonlinedictionary
thatdefinesvocabularywordswithcontextualsentences.

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