Toward a Meaningful Definition of Vocabulary Size

  title={Toward a Meaningful Definition of Vocabulary Size},
  author={Catherine A. D'Anna and Eugene B. Zechmeister and James W. Hall},
  journal={Journal of Literacy Research},
  pages={109 - 122}
Studies using dictionary-sampling methods to estimate vocabulary size have left a bewildering trail of widely differing estimates. We argue that many estimates are misleading (generally too high) principally because the definition of a word is too liberal. For practical purposes (e.g., planning vocabulary instruction), it makes sense to define a word as a base form, resembling what linguists call a lemma, and to disregard certain word forms from estimates of vocabulary size (e.g., proper names… 

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