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Academic Paper

Title: Specific language impairment at adolescence: Avoiding complexity
Author: Laurice Tuller
Institution: Université François-Rabelais
Author: Célia Henry
Institution: Institut de Rééducation de la Communication
Author: Eva Sizaret
Institution: Regional University Hospital Center (CHRU)
Author: Marie-Anne Barthez
Institution: Regional University Hospital Center (CHRU)
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: French
Abstract: This study explores complex language in adolescents with specific language impairment (SLI) with the aim of finding out how aspects of language characteristic of typical syntactic development after childhood fare and, in particular, whether there is evidence that individuals with SLI avoid using structures whose syntactic derivation involves greater computational complexity. An analysis of spontaneous language samples of 18 French-speaking adolescents with SLI, compared to groups of typically developing speakers, showed that whereas complexity increases with age in the latter, behaviors of avoidance are clear in the former, in the form of low frequencies of complex structures, but also frequency of failed attempts and alternative strategies. Whereas increasing complexity is the hallmark of syntactic development after childhood, avoidance of complexity appears to characterize SLI after childhood.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 33, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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