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ERIC Number: EJ869142
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
Speech Disruptions in the Sentence Formulation of School-Age Children with Specific Language Impairment
Finneran, Denise A.; Leonard, Laurence B.; Miller, Carol A.
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v44 n3 p271-286 2009
Background: Many school-age children with specific language impairment produce sentences that appear to conform to the adult grammar. It may be premature to conclude from this, however, that their language formulation ability is age appropriate. Aims: To determine whether a more subtle measure of language use, speech disruptions during sentence formulation, might serve to distinguish children with specific language impairment from their typically developing peers at an age when grammatical accuracy was high. We analysed the rate of speech disruptions in simple sentence production in school-age children with specific language impairment and typically developing age-matched peers. We predicted that: (1) the specific language impairment group would exhibit more speech disruptions than the typically developing group as a result of reduced language proficiency even when grammatical accuracy was high; and (2) the specific language impairment group would demonstrate greater reductions in disruption frequency as compared with the typically developing group when given sentences that model the target syntactic structures. Methods & Procedures: Twenty-eight children (17 specific language impairment, 11 typically developing, mean = 8;10 years) with no history of stuttering were presented with a series of picture pairs. The examiner described the first picture using a simple sentence and asked the child to repeat the sentence; the child then described the second picture. There were two priming conditions: Matching Syntax condition (paired pictures requiring different syntactic structures) and Different Syntax condition (paired pictures requiring different syntax structures). All testing was audio-recorded and speech disruptions (repetitions, revisions, fillers, long silent pauses) were transcribed and tabulated for each target response. The data were analysed by analysis of variance (ANOVA). Outcomes & Results: The specific language impairment group demonstrated a significantly greater number of speech disruptions when compared with the typically developing group. There was no effect for priming. Conclusions & Implications: School-age children with specific language impairment appear to have difficulty with sentence formulation when compared with typically developing peers even when grammatical accuracy is high. We concluded that school-age children with specific language impairment may demonstrate subtle but persistent language formulation difficulties. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A