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Academic Paper


Title: Subject–Verb Agreement in Specific Language Impairment: A Study of Monolingual and Bilingual German-Speaking Children
Author: Solveig Chilla
Institution: Universität Erfurt
Author: Harald Clahsen
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~harald/
Institution: Universität Potsdam
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonology
Subject Language: German
Turkish
Abstract: This study investigates phenomena that have been claimed to be indicative of Specific Language Impairment (SLI) in German, focusing on subject–verb agreement marking. Longitudinal data from fourteen German-speaking children with SLI, seven monolingual and seven Turkish–German successive bilingual children, were examined. We found similar patterns of impairment in the two participant groups. Both the monolingual and the bilingual children with SLI had correct (present vs. preterit) tense marking and produced syntactically complex sentences such as embedded clauses and wh-questions, but were limited in reliably producing correct agreement-marked verb forms. These contrasts indicate that agreement marking is impaired in German-speaking children with SLI, without any necessary concurrent deficits in either the CP-domain or in tense marking. Our results also show that it is possible to identify SLI from an early successive bilingual child's performance in one of her two languages.

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This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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