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ERIC Number: EJ1040459
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Effect of Phonotactic Probability and Neighborhood Density on Word-Learning Configuration by Preschoolers with Typical Development and Specific Language Impairment
Gray, Shelley; Pittman, Andrea; Weinhold, Juliet
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v57 n3 p1011-1025 Jun 2014
Purpose: In this study, the authors assessed the effects of phonotactic probability and neighborhood density on word-learning configuration by preschoolers with specific language impairment (SLI) and typical language development (TD). Method: One hundred thirty-one children participated: 48 with SLI, 44 with TD matched on age and gender, and 39 with TD matched on vocabulary and gender. Referent identification and naming were assessed in a computer-based learning context. Results: For referent identification, preschoolers with TD benefited from high phonotactic probability, and the younger group also benefited from low neighborhood density. In contrast, the SLI group benefited only from high neighborhood density. For naming, older preschoolers with TD benefited most from low-density words, younger preschoolers with TD benefited most from words with high phonotactic probability, and the SLI group showed no advantage. Conclusion: Phonotactic probability and neighborhood density had different effects on each group that may be related to children's ability to store well-specified word forms and to the size of their extant lexicon. The authors argue that cross-study comparisons of word learning are needed; therefore, researchers should describe word, referent, and learner characteristics and the learning context and should situate their studies in a triggering ? configuration + engagement model of word learning.
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: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 5R01DC7417-2