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ERIC Number: EJ869168
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
Real-Word Repetition as a Predictor of Grammatical Competence in Italian Children with Typical Language Development
Dispaldro, Marco; Benelli, Beatrice; Marcolini, Stefania; Stella, Giacomo
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v44 n6 p941-961 2009
Background: Non-word repetition in children is a skill related to, but separable from grammatical ability. Lexical skill may bridge the gap between these two abilities. Aims: The main aim was to determine whether real-word-repetition tasks could be better as predictors of grammatical ability than non-word-repetition tasks in children with typical language. This proposal was pursued because lexical knowledge was assumed to make performance in repetition tasks more representative of other language abilities, whereas non-word-repetition tasks are heavily influenced by phonological short-term memory. Methods & Procedures: In order to investigate this possibility, three repetition tasks (two real-word lists characterized by different lexical knowledge and one non-word list), were compared in three groups of three- to four-year-olds with typical language (42 children). Grammatical ability was tested through probes for third-person plural inflection and direct-object clitic use. Outcomes & Results: Real words were repeated more accurately than non-words and the non-words were more sensitive to Syllable length than real words. Performance on all repetition tasks was correlated with grammatical ability, but real words predicted variance in grammatical ability to a greater extent than non-words. Conclusions & Implications: Given the lexical information contained in real words, repetition of such words was a better predictor of grammatical ability than non-word repetition. Future research should replicate and extend these results. Tasks using real words may also have considerable clinical potential; for this reason, these tasks might also be included in studies of children with language impairment. (Contains 4 tables and 3 figures.)
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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
Identifiers - Location: Italy