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Predictor of child vocabulary in early speech:

Infants’ ability to relate words to objects at 12 months linked to language skills at 18 months — ScienceDaily

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150831135841.htm

Cognitive development is broadly defined as the process by which babies and young children learn about the world around them, and includes the acquisition of problem solving, memory, perception and, of course, language.

At 12 months old, your infant’s ability to group objects according to the names associated with them — as opposed to their appearance alone — offers a glimpse into how his or her vocabulary will develop by the time they are 18 months, Northwestern University researchers have found.