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MLU and N:V ratio guidelines
β€’ The formula is: π‘‘π‘œπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘™ π‘šπ‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘β„Žπ‘’π‘šπ‘’π‘ 
π‘‘π‘œπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘™ π‘’π‘‘π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘›π‘π‘’π‘ 
β€’ If there is a false start or disfluency, discount this, and count only the final utterance
β€’ β€œxxx” or β€œyyy” means β€œunintelligible”. If the utterance contains this, leave it out of the MLU count.
o BUT words in such utterances can be counted as words that the child knows for the N:V
ratio calculation
β€’ If there is a 0 next to a word, this means that the word is missing from the child’s utterance. So do
not include it in your count of the morphemes in that utterance!
N:V ratio
β€’ This the ratio of the number of unique nouns in the child’s speech to the number of unique verbs
β€’ If a word has β€œ[?]” after it, give them the benefit of the doubt and count it as a word the child
β€’ Proper names should be counted as nouns
β€’ Pronouns are not nouns – pronouns are function words and should be counted as β€œother”
β€’ Copulas and auxiliaries should not be counted as verbs – only lexical verbs should be included in the
N:V ratio
β€’ There is some flexibility as to words which could be either a verb or a noun – you will not be
penalised for the decision you make. However, if you are unsure, you can go with the category
given to that word in the %mor tier by the transcriber.
β€’ Noun to verb ratio should be expressed in the form N:V, e.g. 8:4 (which can be simplified β†’ 2:1).
Example: Table 2
β€’ Utterances highlighted in green CAN be counted in MLU
β€’ Utterances highlighted in orange CANNOT be counted in MLU
β€’ Utterances highlighted in green or orange can be used in the tabulation of different parts of
speech, and calculation of N:V ratio.
β€’ L.17 β€œdrink” could be a verb or a noun. I have chosen to categorise it as a verb (Tables 2 & 3),
assuming the target utterance is β€œThe rabbit wants to drink.” But you could justify counting it as a
noun if you assume the target utterance is β€œThe rabbit wants a drink”
β€’ Note that even if the child repeats an utterance, each one can be counted in MLU – so l.18-19
would be counted as two utterances in the MLU calculation (Table 1)
β€’ N:V ratio is 2:3 (Table 3)
β€’ Line 11: β€œRa-β€œ is a false start and gets ignored, and we only look at the final utterance, ”rabbit”

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