NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1146008
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
The Role of Frequency in Learning Morphophonological Alternations: Implications for Children with Specific Language Impairment
Tomas, Ekaterina; Demuth, Katherine; Petrocz, Peter
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v60 n5 p1316-1329 May 2017
Purpose: The aim of this article was to explore how the type of allomorph (e.g., past tense buzz[ d ] vs. nod[ ?d ]) influences the ability to perceive and produce grammatical morphemes in children with typical development and with specific language impairment (SLI). Method: The participants were monolingual Australian English--speaking children. The SLI group included 13 participants (mean age = 5;7 [years;months]); the control group included 19 children with typical development (mean age = 5;4). Both groups performed a grammaticality judgment and elicited production task with the same set of nonce verbs in third-person singular and past tense forms. Results: Five-year-old children are still learning to generalize morphophonological patterns to novel verbs, and syllabic /?z/ and /?d/ allomorphs are significantly more challenging to produce, particularly for the SLI group. The greater phonetic content of these syllabic forms did not enhance perception. Conclusions: Acquisition of morphophonological patterns involving low-frequency allomorphs is still underway in 5-year-old children with typical development, and it is even more protracted in SLI populations, despite these patterns being highly predictable. Children with SLI will therefore benefit from targeted intervention with low-frequency allomorphs.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 2200 Research Blvd #250, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 301-296-5700; Fax: 301-296-8580; 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 - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A