Production Operations Contribute to the Grammatical Morpheme Limitations of Children with Specific Language Impairment

Laurence B. Leonard, Carol A. Miller, Bernard Grela, Audrey L. Holland, Erika Gerber, Marcia Petucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Children with specific language impairment (SLI) usually differ from typically developing children in the degree to which they use particular grammatical morphemes, not in whether they use these morphemes. In this study, a structural priming paradigm was used to determine whether a portion of these children's inconsistent use might be attributable to processing demands during the sentence formulation and production phase. In two experiments, preschoolers with SLI made greater use of grammatical morphemes (e.g., auxiliary is) if the preceding prime employed the syntactic frame and prosodic structure required in the target (e.g., prime: "The boys are washing the car"; target: "The horse is kicking the cow") than if it did not (e.g., prime: "The pig fell down"; target: "The mouse is eating the cheese"). Priming effects were greater in these children than in a group of younger typically developing children, consistent with the view that operations involved in sentence formulation and production place especially heavy demands on the children with SLI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-378
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence

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