Lexical density and diversity in written language of adolescents between 10-16 years of age

Sudhin Karuppali, Sonia Babu, Jayashree S. Bhat

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Semantics is one of the important areas of language development in the adolescent period, whereas lexicon is an important element of language development. An individual's level of semantic/lexical mastery can be accounted for in terms of lexical density and diversity. The present study focused on analyzing the semantic system of adolescents between the ages of 10-16 years in terms of lexical density and diversity using written expository tasks. The participants included120 regular school going adolescents divided into six groups with a one year interval. Three written expository topics were obtained and were analyzed using SALT software to obtain the measures of lexical density and diversity. Analysis of covariance was done to determine the level of significance of lexical diversity and density. Bonferroni post hoc analysis was done to determine the level of significance between the groups. Pearson's correlation coefficient was done to determine the relationship between measures of lexical density and diversity. The results showed a developmental trend for lexical diversity. Though there was an increase in word content across the age groups, the lexical density remained constant. This shows that with age a change in lexical diversity can be observed. Also, this measure can be applied to children with language deficits and even older individuals who have received lesser attention in the study of language development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-325
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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