From context to cortex

Features an excerpt from Steven Pinker's 'The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language'(1994). Number of words in vocabulary of average six-year-old and average high school graduate; More.

By PT Staff, published on March 1, 1995 - last reviewed on January 23, 2015

Number of words in Funk & Wagnall's New Unabridged Dictionary:
450,000.Number of words in vocabulary of average high school graduate:
60,000. Number of distinct words in Shakespeare's collected works:
15,000. Number of words in vocabulary of average six-year-old: 13,000.
Rate at which children learn a new word between the ages of one and
eighteen: every 90 minutes.

By Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates
Language (Norton, 1994)