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Academic Paper


Title: Verb inflections and noun phrase morphology in the spontaneous speech of Spanish-speaking children with specific language impairment
Author: Lisa M Bedore
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Author: Laurence B. Leonard
Institution: Purdue University
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Spanish
Abstract: Spanish-speaking preschoolers with specific language impairment (SLI) were compared to typically developing same-age peers (TD-A) and younger typically developing children matched for mean length of utterance (TD-MLU) in terms of their use of grammatical morphology in spontaneous speech. The children with SLI showed high levels of accuracy on present tense and past tense (preterite) verb inflections. However, their use of definite articles and direct object clitics was significantly more problematic than for either the TD-MLU or the TD-A children. Substitutions and omissions were observed, especially in contexts requiring plural articles and clitics. Many of the details of the observed Spanish SLI profile were predicted by Wexler's (Extended) Unique Checking Constraint (EUCC) proposal. Remaining details in the data could be accommodated by making additional assumptions within the same general linguistic framework as the EUCC. Some of the differences between the findings from Spanish and those from previous studies on related languages such as Italian suggest the need for clinical assessment and intervention procedures that are shaped as much by language-specific details as by the language's typology.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 26, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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