English-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI) have well-documented difficulties with the production of grammatical morphemes related to agreement, as compared to both same-age and younger normally developing peers. However, comprehension of agreement-related morphemes has not been well studied in children with SLI, especially during the pre-school years. In two experiments, pre-schoolers with SLI and their normally developing peers were compared on their comprehension of third person singular, copula, and noun plural forms. The results showed that the children with SLI had poorer overall comprehension. Furthermore, the children with SLI appeared to rely primarily on the number cues that were present in the subject rather than on the verb agreement morphology. The findings are examined in light of several current accounts of the grammatical deficits found in children with SLI.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing