Deficits in finite verb morphology: Some assumptions in recent accounts of specific language impairment

Carol A. Miller, Laurence B. Leonard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The grammatical morphology deficits common in children with specific language impairment (SLI) are characterized in some models as linguistic deficits. Such models must assume some mechanism for correct productions of finite verb forms. Three such assumptions were tested by analyzing speech samples from 18 children with SLI (aged 3 years 6 months to 6 years 9 months). Assumption 1, that nonfinite forms are used consistently until replaced by memorized finite forms, was tested by examining the distribution of verb types in present thirdperson singular and noun types in present third-person singular contractible copula contexts. Significantly more word types than expected were inflected inconsistently. Both Assumption 2, that finite and nonfinite verb forms are memorized but used indiscriminately, and Assumption 3, that affixation rules are applied indiscriminately, predict random use of finite forms. This prediction was not supported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-707
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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