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ERIC Number: EJ869153
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
The Link between Prosody and Language Skills in Children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and/or Dyslexia
Marshall, C. R.; Harcourt-Brown, S.; Ramus, F.; van der Lely, H. K. J.
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v44 n4 p466-488 2009
Background: Children with specific language impairment (SLI) and dyslexia are known to have impairments in various aspects of phonology, which have been claimed to cause their language and literacy impairments. However, "phonology" encompasses a wide range of skills, and little is known about whether these phonological impairments extend to prosody. Aims: To investigate certain prosodic abilities of children with SLI and/or dyslexia, to determine whether such children have prosodic impairments, whether they have the same pattern of impairments, and whether prosodic impairments are related to language and literacy deficits. Methods & Procedures: Six subtests of the Profiling Elements of Prosodic Systems-Child version (PEPS-C) were used to investigate discrimination/comprehension and imitation/production of prosodic forms that were either independent of language or that had one of two linguistic functions: chunking (prosodic boundaries) and focus (contrastive stress). The performance of three groups of 10-14-year-old children with SLI plus dyslexia, SLI, and dyslexia were compared with an age-matched control group and two younger control groups matched for various aspects of language and reading. Outcomes & Results: The majority of children with SLI and/or dyslexia performed well on the tasks that tested auditory discrimination and imitation of prosodic forms. However, their ability to use prosody to disambiguate certain linguistic structures was impaired relative to age-matched controls, although these differences disappeared in comparison with language-matched controls. No, or only very weak, links were found between prosody and language and literacy skills in children with SLI and/or dyslexia. Conclusions & Implications: Children with SLI and/or dyslexia aged 10-14 years show an impaired ability to disambiguate linguistic structures for which prosody is required. However, they are able on the whole to discriminate and imitate the actual prosodic structures themselves, without reference to linguistic meaning. While the interaction between prosody and other components of language such as syntax and pragmatics is problematic for children with SLI and/or dyslexia, prosody itself does not appear to be a core impairment. (Contains 8 tables and 1 note.)
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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