Grammatical morphology and speech perception in children with specific language impairment

L. B. Leonard, K. K. McGregor, G. D. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

172 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many English-speaking children with specific language impairment have been found to be especially weak in their use of grammatical morphology. In a separate literature, many children meeting the same subject description have shown significant limitations on tasks involving the perception of rapid acoustic changes. In this study, we attempted to determine whether there were parallels between the grammatical morphological limitations of children with specific language impairment and their performance profiles across several perceptual contrasts. Because most English grammatical morphemes have shorter durations relative to adjacent morphemes in the speech stream, we hypothesized that children with specific language impairment would be especially weak in discriminating speech stimuli whose contrastive portions had shorter durations than the noncontrastive portions. Results from a group of eight children with specific language impairment with documented morphological difficulties confirmed these predictions. Several possible accounts of the observed morphology-perception parallels are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1076-1085
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Speech and Hearing Research
Volume35
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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