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ERIC Number: EJ1015621
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Sentence Comprehension in Specific Language Impairment: A Task Designed to Distinguish between Cognitive Capacity and Syntactic Complexity
Leonard, Laurence B.; Deevy, Patricia; Fey, Marc E.; Bredin-Oja, Shelley L.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v56 n2 p577-589 Apr 2013
Purpose: This study examined sentence comprehension in children with specific language impairment (SLI) in a manner designed to separate the contribution of cognitive capacity from the effects of syntactic structure. Method: Nineteen children with SLI, 19 typically developing children matched for age (TD-A), and 19 younger typically developing children (TD-Y) matched according to sentence comprehension test scores responded to sentence comprehension items that varied in either length or their demands on cognitive capacity, based on the nature of the foils competing with the target picture. Results: The TD-A children were accurate across all item types. The SLI and TD-Y groups were less accurate than the TD-A group on items with greater length and, especially, on items with the greatest demands on cognitive capacity. The types of errors were consistent with failure to retain details of the sentence apart from syntactic structure. Conclusions: The difficulty in the more demanding conditions seemed attributable to interference. Specifically, the children with SLI and the TD-Y children appeared to have difficulty retaining details of the target sentence when the information reflected in the foils closely resembled the information in the target sentence. (Contains 4 tables and 2 figures.)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Columbia Mental Maturity Scale; Clinical Evaluation of Language Functions
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A