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ERIC Number: EJ1155822
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
"Whatdunit?" Sentence Comprehension Abilities of Children with SLI: Sensitivity to Word Order in Canonical and Noncanonical Structures
Montgomery, James W.; Gillam, Ronald B.; Evans, Julia L.; Sergeev, Alexander V.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v60 n9 p2603-2618 Sep 2017
Purpose: With Aim 1, we compared the comprehension of and sensitivity to canonical and noncanonical word order structures in school-age children with specific language impairment (SLI) and same-age typically developing (TD) children. Aim 2 centered on the developmental improvement of sentence comprehension in the groups. With Aim 3, we compared the comprehension error patterns of the groups. Method: Using a "Whatdunit" agent selection task, 117 children with SLI and 117 TD children (ages 7:0-11:11, years:months) propensity matched on age, gender, mother's education, and family income pointed to the picture that best represented the agent in semantically implausible canonical structures (subject-verb-object, subject relative) and noncanonical structures (passive, object relative). Results: The SLI group performed worse than the TD group across sentence types. TD children demonstrated developmental improvement across each sentence type, but children with SLI showed improvement only for canonical sentences. Both groups chose the object noun as agent significantly more often than the noun appearing in a prepositional phrase. Conclusions: In the absence of semantic--pragmatic cues, comprehension of canonical and noncanonical sentences by children with SLI is limited, with noncanonical sentence comprehension being disproportionately limited. The children's ability to make proper semantic role assignments to the noun arguments in sentences, especially noncanonical, is significantly hindered.
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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: R01DC010883