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Title: Specific language impairment in Afrikaans
Subtitle: Providing a Minimalist account for problems with grammatical features and word order
Written By: Frenette Southwood
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series

This dissertation aimed to identify the linguistic characteristics of specific
language impairment (SLI) as it presents itself in Afrikaans. The study
ascertained whether (i) the comprehension and production of grammatical
morphemes by Afrikaans-speaking children with SLI are delayed and/or
deviant; (ii) the predictions made by current linguistic accounts of SLI are
borne out by the Afrikaans data; and (iii) there is a need for an alternative,
comprehensive account of SLI as it presents itself in Afrikaans.

A series of experimental tasks was performed with three groups of
Afrikaansspeaking children (6-year-olds with SLI, and typically developing
4- and 6-year-olds), and spontaneous language samples were collected. The
children with SLI presented like younger typically developing ones on the
experimental tasks, but, in terms of the spontaneous production of
grammatical morphemes, they fared worse than both typically developing
groups. Furthermore, certain word order errors were made only by the
children with SLI. It appears then that the language of Afrikaans-speaking
children with SLI is not merely delayed, but also somewhat deviant.

The predictions made by current linguistic accounts of SLI were not borne
out by the Afrikaans data. The alternative account proposed here is that
the problems Afrikaans-speaking children experience with grammatical
morphemes and word order are related to problems at Spell-Out at PF. The
problem appears not to lie in the computational system as such, but with
syntax-phonology mapping. These children have difficulties choosing the
correct form for Spell-Out, which may be related to the fact that these
Spell-Out forms are not (yet) stored in as organised a manner as they are
in the adult lexicon.

Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
Language Acquisition
Subject Language(s): Afrikaans
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789078328377
Pages: 363
Prices: Europe EURO 29.07