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Is parental report of comprehension valid for individual words? If so, how well must an infant know a word before their parents will report it as ‘understood’ ? We report an experiment in which parental report predicts infant performance in a referent identification task at 1;6. Unlike in previous research of this kind (i.e. Houston-Price, Mather & Sakkalou, 2007), infants saw items only once, and image pairs were taxonomic sisters. The match between parental report and infant behaviour provides evidence of the item-level accuracy of both measures of lexical comprehension, and informs our understanding of how British parents interpret standardized Communicative Development Inventories (CDIs).

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Child Language

Publication Date



895 - 980