Talking to talkers: Infants' talk status, but not their gender, is related to language input.
Prior research points to gender differences in some early language skills, but is inconclusive about the mechanisms at play, providing evidence that both infants' early input and productions may differ by gender. This study examined the linguistic input and early productions of 44 American English-learning infants (93% White) in a longitudinal sample of home recordings collected at 6-17 months (in 2014-2016). Girls produced more unique words than boys (Cohen's d = .67) and this effect grew with age, but there were no significant gender differences in language input (d = .22-.24). Instead, caregivers talked more to infants who had begun to talk (d = .93-.97), regardless of gender. Therefore, prior results highlighting gender-based input differences may have been due, at least partly, to this talking-to-talkers effect.
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