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ERIC Number: EJ1116592
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1048-9223
Syntactic Complexity Effects of Russian Relative Clause Sentences in Children with and without Developmental Language Disorder
Rakhlin, Natalia; Kornilov, Sergey A.; Kornilova, Tatiana V.; Grigorenko, Elena L.
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v23 n4 p333-360 2016
We investigated relative clause (RC) comprehension in 44 Russian-speaking children with typical language (TD) and developmental language disorder (DLD) (M age = 10;67, SD = 2.84) and 22 adults. Flexible word order and morphological case in Russian allowed us to isolate factors that are obscured in English, helping us to identify sources of syntactic complexity and evaluate their roles in RC comprehension by children with typical language and their peers with DLD. We administered a working memory and an RC comprehension (picture-choice) task, which contained subject- and object-gap center-embedded and right-branching RCs. The TD group, but not adults, demonstrated the effects of gap, embedding, and case. Their lower accuracy relative to adults was not fully attributable to differences in working memory. The DLD group displayed lower than TD children overall accuracy, accounted for by their lower working memory scores. While the effect of gap and embedding on their performance was not different from what was found for the TD group, children with DLD exhibited a diminished effect of case, suggesting reduced sensitivity to morphological case markers as processing cues. The implications of these results to theories of syntactic complexity and core deficits in DLD are discussed.
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; 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
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Cattell Culture Fair Intelligence Test
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01DC007665