Sunday, November 01, 2009

Browns Stages of Productive Syntax

Notice that that Early I goes from 1.01 to 1.49, and Late I goes from 1.50 to 1.99, with Stage II starting at 2.0 etc.
I find it very interesting that they would have chosen a discontinuous scale whereby children with a reasonable "MLU" of say, 1.995 would not not lie in any of these categories. In fact there are uncountably infinite numbers between 1.99 and 2.00, something that these child linguisticitians are apparently not aware of.


  1. While I have no idea what MLU is, i suspect they round their numbers to 2 decimal places. Thus, your MLU of 1.995 rounds to 2.
    This is also how they round ages: What if a kid is 26.5 months?

  2. Turns out, it's not even a question of rounding; MLU is calculated in a way that produces quantized steps of 0.01

  3. I actually figured that the result was probably quantized. Most of these test tyope things are.

  4. Actually in normal circumstance it is hard to get exactly 100 utterances, often you get fewer than 100. That can easily make the fraction strange and the MLU a long or repeating decimal. You still need to include a rounding clause to make this rigorous.